The Abandoned Submerged Church and Town of Potosi in the Uribante Reservoir

submerged church abandoned in south america

The underwater church of Potosi is located now in the Uribante Reservoir, in the state of Táchira, Venezuela.

The town of Potosi was de-established and flooded in 1985 by the Venezuelan government to create a hydroelectric dam. It is known as the Uribante Reservoir used by the Uribante Caparo Hydroelectric Complex. Before the flooding Potosi had around 1,200 inhabitants but they were all told to leave by Carlos Andres Perez, the president at the time. All the people of Potosi relocated and left the colonial church, homes, and town behind. Once flooded the steeple was all that remained visible of the former town. The steeple of the church stood 85 feet tall and is used as the high-water mark for the reservoir.

The reservoir waters began to recede in 2008 and by 2010, 25 years later, the entire church was almost completely un-submerged. There was a 98 feet drop in the water level of the Uribante Reservoir, due to drought and weather patterns caused by El Niño. The former glory of the town of Potosi was to be seen again. Some former resident found joy in seeing there old home again but it was not without its own sadness at how severe the drought had become.

This reservoir can be found with these coordinates. 7.954347,-71.681156. The exact location where old Potosi was is unclear on Google and Bing maps.

Image 1 used under Creative Commons License Attribution 2.0 Generic. Image 1 by Juan Tello [Flickr / junctions].

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