Church comes out of the water - level 3

Church comes out of the water - level 3

28-10-2015 15:00

The ruins of a 16th century church have surfaced from the receding reservoir waters in Mexico because of a drought. Located in the country's southern state Chiapas, it’s believed to have been built by Spanish colonists. This is the second time the temple has appeared, happening once before in 2002, again caused by drought.

The 400-year-old roofless church has emerged because of the 80-foot (24 metres) water drop in the Grijalva River.

Specialists believe the structure was built in 1564 by evangelical Dominican friars and later inhabited by the Zoque people. The area flooded following the construction of the Malpaso Dam in 1966.

Curious onlookers have arrived on boats to visit the colonial-era ruins.

"We came to see it. Sometimes we think that when it's submerged in water the church will erode quickly but it doesn't. It's there still."

When the church was last visible over ten years ago, the water levels were so low that visitors were able to walk around the temple interiors. It may not be accessible right now, but it is certainly a rare view into a history that is now underwater.

Difficult words: recede (to become less), reservoir (a manmade lake), drought (when there is little rain for a long time), temple (a building for a god or gods), friar (a member of a religious group of Catholic men), inhabit (to live somewhere), dam (a big wall which stops water), onlooker (somebody who watches something), submerged (to be covered in), erode (to fall apart).


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