Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Another "drowned" church: Santo Tomás de Los Plátanos

Located in a subtropical valley in western Mexico State, beyond the Valle de Bravo and close to the Michoacán border, Santo Tomás was founded on the order of the celebrated Bishop Vasco de Quiroga in the 1550's. 
    In accordance with the bishop’s desire to assign specialized activities to newly established mission towns, he designated Santo Tomás as a producer of bananas, hence the suffix: de Los Plátanos.
Since the 1950s, however, the old village and its church were inundated by the lake that rose behind the nearby dam of Presa Santa Bárbara, and the inhabitants were removed to the new community of Nuevo Santo Tomás de Los Plátanos.
Through the effect of the lake waters, today the village buildings and most of the church have disappeared and largely disintegrated, leaving only the tower and its cupola showing above the surface.
Even when the waters on occasion recede, the massive quantity of silt on the lake bottom hides whatever remains of the former nave.

see our earlier posts on Mexico's drowned churches: Jalapa del MarquésSan Juan de Las PerasQuechula; as well as others on El Bable.
text © 2019 Richard D, Perry. 
color images from the internet and courtesy of Niccolò Brooker 

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