ATLAS OBSCURA

The Drowned Church of Potosi - Potosi, Venezuela

Between 1985 and 2008, fishermen and daytrippers traveling by boat along the lake formed by the Uribante Reservoir in Táchira, Venezuela would be presented with an unusual and eerie sight: a lone and mildewed cross rising crookedly out of the water, clearly attached to a foundation leading to something anchoring it – something big, deep beneath the surface.

In 2008 however, the cross started to rise higher and higher out of the water, revealing more of the gothic structure below. The unsettling cross was literally just the tip of something much more massive.

In reality, the structure was not rising out of the water, but rather the water of the reservoir was receding, revealing what the lake had concealed for more than two decades. By 2010, the water had receded almost entirely, revealing a large stretch of flat land, and a towering gothic church that was once nearly submerged.

More on visiting the formerly Drowned Church of Potosi on Atlas Obscura…