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El Tiradito

 

Located in Old Barrio within downtown Tucson, you’ll find the shrine of El Tiradito. It features the remains of a brick building and a big metal candle rack sporting desert plants and the occasional gifted candle from visitors. However, it’s the massive, glass enclosed candles that really make a statement. These candles feature saints of the Roman Catholic Church, and you’ll find pieces of paper with messages, prayers and thanks left in the crevices of the walls and throughout the shrine. It’s a popular space to leave memorial pieces, religious objects, and remnants from visiting artists, writers and poets.

It’s the only remaining Catholic shrine in the country dedicated to a sinner buried below the hallowed grounds. The “sinner” allegedly died while fighting for his lover. Fittingly, many of the heartbroken visitors leave love letters and notes to their own loves, asking the shrine to help them with healing and moving forward.

A Historical Region

Old Barrio is also called the “real soul of the city,” with some architecture dating to the 1870s. It’s a glimpse into the true history of the region, with nods to historic architecture throughout the neighborhood. El Tiradito is a must-stop for all visitors, regardless of religious affiliation, and it’s a touching moment to be able to leave a note of your own at the beloved shrine.

You’ll find El Tiradito at 420 S. Main Avenue. Visit early or during weekdays for the best experience and photo opportunities. Open year-round and tended by faithful volunteers, it’s an experience like none other and a unique introduction to Tucson’s history.

 

 

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