A 19th-century temple has "risen" from the water following a heavy drought in central Mexico after being submerged for over 40 years.
The Church of the Virgin of Dolores, which dates back to the middle of the nineteenth century – or possibly earlier according to some records – was the main place of worship for El Zangarro community.
¿Sabías qué? En #Guanajuato durante la temporada de #sequía quedó al descubierto el Templo de la Virgen de los Dolores, cuya edificación se realizó a mediados del Siglo XIX y combina los estilos #neoclásico y #barroco. pic.twitter.com/U53fSxZvT5— Eddy Warman (@EddyWarman) May 5, 2021
#EFEFotos | El Templo de la Virgen de los Dolores en el estado de Guanajuato sobrevive entre el agua y peces como único testigo de un pueblo que fue inundado hace más de 40 años y que ahora, a raíz de las sequías, ha quedado de nuevo al descubierto.— EFEMEX (@EFEMexico) May 3, 2021
EFE/ Luis Ramírez pic.twitter.com/PUg4AlbGSd
"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 Vazquez, the director of municipal archives in the nearby city of Irapuato, explained to the Milenio.
But El Zangarro community was forced to leave its lands following the construction of La Purisma dam in 1979, which led to the entire town being submerged under water.
#GUANAJUATO.- Tras 40 años bajo el agua, los #vestigios de lo que fue el templo de la Virgen de los Dolores (siglo XIX), se asoma entre la presa La Purísima, #Irapuato. La sequía y falta de lluvias deja ver al único testigo de un pueblo inundado. pic.twitter.com/yOYD9uqXFF— NOTICIERO ANIMAL ® 🐾 (@NoticieroAnimal) May 4, 2021
The dam was built after the nearby city of Irapuato was flooded a few years before, but the loss of the territory and church was heart-breaking for locals, who were forced to relocate to another settlement under the same name.
“Oral history tells us that it was very difficult for them [El Zangarro community] to leave the place, not just because of the buildings, but because of the sense of belonging to the place,” Vazquez said.
“A few resisted until they saw that it was already a reality that the water would arrive to cover the entire town,” he added.
As the water level has receded during the drought that's badly affecting Guanajuato city and neighbouring La Purisma, the shabby but still spectacular temple has risen above the water, attracting photographers, visitors, and historians alike.