7 Incredible Drowned Churches

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Image: oleg ivanov

It is enough to test anyone’s faith, or prove to others that there is only man and nature – that there is no God. Churches of all things, rising out of lakes and rivers, submerged in gallons of water – the lovingly carved pews and altars ruined, the places where so many knelt and prayed for help or forgiveness a home to weeds and fishes now.


Image: Markus Bernet

These churches were flooded and drowned by men’s own doing, in their cavalier hurry to change nature’s path for dams and reservoirs.

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Image: Juan Tello

7. Church in Potosi, Venezuela

The cross of the church in Potosi, Venezuela, is all that’s left of the town that was deserted by citizens when the government made plans to build the La Honda dam. The president at the time, Carlos Andres Perez, flew in to the village of 1,200 in 1985, but in the words of Josefa Garcia, a former resident: “He said we’d all be expropriated and we had to leave. It took our hope away.”

These drowned churches have a way of re-emerging, though, often as a result of nature’s rather than man’s doing. In 2010, El Niño – an abnormal warming of ocean surfaces – caused a drought, and the church in Potosi appeared. The facade was the only thing left intact.

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