City of Mesa, AZ

Fun with History - Spanish Arizona


photo of a conquistador armor

Spanish conquistadors and priests first came to what is today Arizona with Coronado in 1541. Spaniards established a presence in southern Arizona beginning in the late 1600s to spread the Catholic faith, to search for mineral wealth and to claim the land for Spain.


photo of a mission exhibit

Spanish explorers established missions along rivers and trade routes in southern Arizona and among Native American communities. Visit the recreated early 18th century Spanish Guevavi mission, founded by Father Kino in 1691, along the Santa Cruz River. In 1821, Mexico won its independence from Spain.

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