Friday, March 1, 2013

Drowned colonial churches in Mexico

Quechula, Chiapas, Mexico

 In keeping with the theme of historical towns being submerged under rising artificial lakes, I want to share two cases of "drowned colonial churches" in Mexico. These are from Richard Perry, a tireless recorder and describer of colonial architecture in Mexico. Richard has published several outstanding books on Spanish-Mexican colonial architecture. I list two of these below; see the website of Espanaña Press (which Perry runs) for other books and more information. I'm on one of his listservs, which means I periodically get a post or a link about some interesting feature of colonial Mexican art or architecture.

Richard Perry also has a very nice blog called ColonialMexico, where I found these incredible drowned churches. The first one (photo above) is the church from a Dominican mission in Quechula. IN the 1960s, the Malpaso hydroelectric dam across the Grijalva River flooded many communities, including Santiago Quechula with its mission.Drought conditions in 2002, however, lowered the lake level, exposing the mission church once again. In Perry's words, "
Men and women who had left the area as children returned as grandparents, arriving by canoe and celebrating the re-emergence with music, dancing and prayers.

Jalpa del Marqués

The second example is Jalpa del Marqués in Oaxaca, subject of a second blog post on ColonialMexico.Check out the description on Richard's blog.

Mexican colonial architecture is fascinating, and I love visiting the old churches and other buildings. I once worked several seasons in an archaeology lab in the sixteenth-century convent in Tepoztlan, and it was great.

Perry, Richard
1992    Mexico's Fortress Monasteries. Espadaña Press, Santa Barbara.

Perry, Richard
1997    Blue Lakes and Silver Cities: The Colonial Arts and Architecture of West Mexico. Espadaña Press, Santa Barbara.

1 comment:

  1. Michael, Thank you for your kind words and the link to my blog, in which I added another drowned church: