Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Water, Water. Drowned Churches: Jalapa del Marqués

JAWS ???

No, this is not a scene from a horror movie. But a watery disaster nevertheless.
In the 1960s, the Rio Tequisistlan was dammed, creating the lake of Presa Juarez in the tierra caliente of southern Oaxaca.  As a result, the 16th century Dominican mission of La Asunción, in Jalapa del Marqués, was engulfed by the lake waters— reminiscent of the fate suffered by the church at Quechula, another drowned Dominican mission in nearby Chiapas.
Today, the crumbling walls and domes of the church still protrude above the surface, to remind us of the demise of yet another early colonial monument.  The H shaped convento and adjacent open chapel can also be traced below the waves.
The intrepid visitor may inspect the ruins at close quarters by boat at his or her own risk.
This photograph, taken in the 1920s by the anthropologist Franz Blom, is one of the few images of the mission before inundation.

text © 2013/2017 Richard D. Perry
photographic images by the intrepid Niccolò Brooker.  Thank you Nick!

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