123-Year-Old Church Rises From The Water After 42 Years

By Bill Galluccio

May 6, 2021

A historic church built in Mexico in 1898 has reemerged after spending the last 42 years underwater. The Church of the Virgin of Dolores was submerged in 1979 due to the construction of the Purisima Dam.

Residents who lived in the community of El Zangarro tried to fight the construction of the dam but were eventually forced to leave when they realized their entire village would be flooded.

"Oral history tells us that it was very difficult for them to leave the place, not just because of the buildings, but because of the sense of belonging to the place," Dulce Vazquez, director of the local municipal archives, told Mexico's Spanish-language Milenio newspaper. "A few resisted until they saw that it was already a reality that the water would arrive to cover the entire town."

The residents were relocated to nearby land, but the church remained and was eventually covered by the water.

Now, because of a severe drought that has impacted the region, the water has receded, and the church is peeking above the water. The church is only accessible by boat and has become a popular tourist attraction with people traveling to central Mexico to explore and snap photos of the partially submerged church.

Photo: Google Maps

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