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When droughts occur and water levels recede, it’s not something positive. However, heavy droughts in Southern Mexico have revealed a fascinating secret: A 400-year-old Ancient Temple referred to as the Temple of Santiago. Receding water levels in the Nezahualcoyotl reservoir has allowed tourists and locals to visit the mid-16th-century colonial church.
After being decades underwater, a 400-year-old Mexican temple was revealed as heavy draught drain the lake wich flooded it in the past.
This incredible ancient secret was revealed as water levels in the Nezahualcoyotl reservoir dropped by up to 25 meters, eventually revealing a mid-16th-century colonial church known as the Temple of Santiago.
This ancient structure was built by Dominican friars— Bartolome de las Casas—some 400 years ago, but was eventually abandoned sometime during the 1770’s due to plagues in the area.
Carlos Navarrete, an architect who worked on a Mexican government report of the church, told the Associated Press:
It was a church built thinking that this could be a great population center, but it never achieved that. It probably never even had a dedicated priest, only receiving visits from those from Tecpatan.
Navarrete reported that the church was abandoned during the 1773–1776 smallpox epidemic.
He wrote about the time of the report:
“At that time, we still found the wood from the chorus loft and the roof beams. Also, a large ossuary of the victims of the plague that depopulated the area.”
After its abandonment, the church was never used for ecclesiastical purposes again.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time the temple has emerged from the water. Curiously, in 2002, droughts in the area were so severe that people were actually able to walk inside the church.
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Photos by David von Blohn