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400 years old church

Forgotten 400 years old church emerges from receding waters in Mexico

A 400 years old church built in Colonial era has emerged from receding waters in Mexico.

Leonel Mendoza fishes every day in a reservoir surrounded by forest and mountains in the southern Mexico state of Chiapas.

But in recent days, he has been ferrying curious passengers out to see the remains of a colonial-era church that has emerged from the receding waters.

Pretty impressive, right?

The remains of a mid-16th century church known as the Temple of Santiago, as well as the Temple of Quechula, is visible from the surface of the Grijalva River due to the lack of rain, near the town of Nueva Quechula, in Chiapas state, Mexico, Friday, Oct. 16, 2015. The temple, built by Dominican friars in the region inhabited by the Zoque people, was submerged in 1966 when the Nezahualcoyotl dam was built. (AP Photo/David von Blohn)

A drought this year means the level of the Grijalva River, which flows into the Nezahualcoyotl reservoir, has dropped by 25 meters (82 feet).

It is the second time a drop in the reservoir has revealed the church since it was flooded when the dam was completed in 1966. In 2002, the water was so low visitors could walk inside the church.

‘The people celebrated. They came to eat, to hang out, to do business. I sold them fried fish. They did processions around the church,’ Mendoza recalled.

The church near Quechula was built by a group of monks headed by Friar Bartolome de la Casas, who arrived in the region inhabited by the Zoque people in the mid-16th century.

The remains of a mid-16th century church known as the Temple of Santiago, as well as the Temple of Quechula, is visible from the surface of the Grijalva River, which feeds the Nezahualcoyotl reservoir, due to the lack of rain near the town of Nueva Quechula, in Chiapas state, Mexico, Friday, Oct. 16, 2015. It's the second time this has happened. In 2002, the water was so low visitors could walk inside the church. (AP Photo/David von Blohn)
The church is 61 meters (183 feet) long and 14 meters (42 feet) wide, with walls rising 10 meters (30 feet).

The bell tower reaches 16 meters (48 feet) above the ground.

‘The 4oo years old church was abandoned due the big plagues of 1773-1776,’ said architect Carlos Navarete, who worked with Mexican authorities on a report about the structure.

The remains of a mid-16th century church, known as the Temple of Santiago, as well as the Temple of Quechula, is visible from the surface of the Grijalva River, which feeds the Nezahualcoyotl reservoir, due to the lack of rain near the town of Nueva Quechula, in Chiapas state, Mexico, Friday, Oct. 16, 2015. ìIt was a church built thinking that this could be a great population center, but it never achieved that,î said architect Carlos Navarete who worked with Mexican authorities on a report about the structure that would be flooded in 1966 when the dam was completed. ìIt probably never even had a dedicated priest, only receiving visits from those from Tecpatan,î a nearby monastery. (AP Photo/David von Blohn)

It depended on the nearby monastery of Tecpatan, founded in 1564. Navarrete believes that based on architectural similarities, it is the work of the same builder at very nearly the same time.

Its importance was derived from its location on the King’s Highway, a road designed by Spanish conquistadors and still in use until the 20th century.

‘At that time we still found the wood from the chorus loft and the roof beams,’ he said. ‘Also a large ossuary of the victims of the plague that depopulated the area.’

‘It was a church built thinking that this could be a great population center, but it never achieved that,’ Navarrete said.

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About chidiebere

Chidi is a Blogger for Gospotainment, a sports Analyst and a Devoted Christian

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