Drought in Mexico has caused water levels to fall 82 feet in a water reservoir. As a result, a 16th century sunken church appears again.
Current drought in Mexico has affected many states including the state of Chiapas in the Southern region.
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The lack of rain has caused to drop water level by more than 80 feet in the Nezahualcoyotl reservoir. As a result, the remains of a 400-year old abandoned church are now visible above the waterline.
Once part of Quechula village, the ‘Temple of Santiago’ submerged underwater after the construction of a dam and the creation of a reservoir in 1966 which has around 100 feet of water in normal days.
The church was built by a Spanish Friar Bartolomé de la Casas and his group of monks when they arrive in Quechula locality inhabited by Zoque people in the mid-16th century. The church is 183 feet long and 42 feet wide, with walls having 30 feet of height.
The Temple of Santiago is about halfway visible in the watershed to the Grijalva river and it’s not the first time when it has resurfaced. In 2002, the water level was so low that people could walk inside the church and hang out there.
Carlos Navarete, a local architect says that the church is related to nearby monastery of Tecpatan, founded in 1564. The architectural similarities suggest that both were built at the same time by the same constructer.
“The church was abandoned due to big plagues of 1773-1776,” said Carlos Navarete. “At that time we still found that wood from the chorus loft and the roof beams. Also a large ossuary of the victims of the plague that depopulated the area.”
The church was located on the King’s Highway, a prominent road track designed by Spanish conquistadors and still in use until 20th century.
“It was church built thinking that this could be a great population center, but it never achieved that,” said Navarete. “It probably never even had a dedicated priest, only receiving visitors from those from Tecpatan.”