16th-Century Church Emerges From Dam Reservoir After Drought


Robin Andrews

Science & Policy Writer

clockFeb 16 2017, 19:33 UTC

The old church rises again. China Xinhua News via Twitter

A Dominican church that’s more than 400 years old has emerged from Mexico’s Benito Juarez Dam after a severe drought rapidly drained it of water, reducing its total capacity to just 16 percent.

This isn’t as magical or as rare as it sounds, however, as the erstwhile temple – which was purposefully flooded in 1962 as the dam was being built – partially reemerges every year during the warmer months when the mercury rises and precipitation rates drop off.


As reported by Istmo Press, the last complete emergence happened in 2008, when a particularly strong drought uncovered the entirety of the church for the first time in nearly half a century. This latest incidence will be the third such time it has made it all the way out of the receding waters.

Drone footage of the recently emerged church. Ruptly TV via YouTube

Plenty of families had to be relocated during the construction of the dam, so any relatives still alive today see the reappearance of the church as a sign of times long gone, lost to the mechanized development of the world.


This church, once upon a time, was the centerpiece of a religious community, with several smaller convents once found to be orbiting around it.

[H/T: RT]

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