Story at a glance:

  • An ancient church has resurfaced after a drought dried up the water it was submerged in for decades.
  • The church was buried in water after the Purisma Dam was built in the city of Guanajuato.
  • The church is considered to be in good condition to reopen as  a tourist attraction.

As the waters of a central lake in Mexico dried up, what emerged was the lost Church of the Virgin of Dolores, which disappeared more than 40 years ago.

The 19th-century church, now in ruins, was buried in 1979 by the construction of the Purisima Dam, ordered by then-Mexican President José López Portillo, along with the colonial community of El Zangarro, the Mexico News Daily reported.


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"The place, the parish, was crowded, because there was the civil registry and the vicarage, it had permission to carry out these types of procedures, that is why it was a very important place," Dulce María Vázquez, director of the Municipal Archive of the city of Irapuato, told Milenio, a Spanish newspaper, in an interview on Monday. 

A drought in the city of Guanajuato diminished water levels enough to expose the church, according to A report from The New York Post

“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,” Vazquez told Milenio. “A few resisted until they saw it was already a reality that the water would arrive and cover the entire town.”

Milenio reported that despite how long the church was flooded, the Temple of the Virgin of Sorrows remains in good enough condition to attract visitors.


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Published on May 06, 2021