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Ancient Church Resurfaces in Spain During Severe Drought

A 1000-year-old church in the village of San Roman de Sau has reemerged from a parched reservoir in drought-hit Spain. The church tower, which had been submerged by floods for more than half a century, was last visible in 1962, before being swallowed up by the Sau reservoir.

The drought in Spain has been particularly severe this year, with water levels in reservoirs across the country dropping to alarming levels. As the reservoir levels have decreased, long-submerged structures have started to reemerge, providing a glimpse into Spain’s past.

The village of San Roman de Sau, located in the province of Barcelona, was flooded in the 1960s to create the Sau reservoir. The construction of the reservoir displaced hundreds of people from their homes, with many of the buildings in the village being submerged beneath the water.

For decades, the church tower of San Roman de Sau has been hidden beneath the waters of the reservoir. But as the drought continues to ravage Spain, the water levels have dropped low enough for the tower to resurface, allowing residents and visitors to catch a glimpse of the village’s history.

The church tower is a poignant reminder of the past and has been greeted with mixed emotions by the residents of San Roman de Sau. While some are thrilled to see the tower emerge from the water, others feel that it is a painful reminder of the displacement they experienced when the reservoir was constructed. 

According to a statement by Spain’s meteorological agency AEMET, the weather is set to be drier along the North Mediterranean coast which includes Catalonia, and that the dry weather will heighten the occurrence of wildfire even as it prompts average rainfall throughout the nation. “This is an area that we could describe as no-man’s land because it is not getting affected by the storms coming from the Atlantic and the Mediterranean,” AEMET spokesperson Ruben del Campo told Reuters, referring to Spain’s northeast.

As he pointed to climate change as one of the leading factors, he said; “Heat waves in this geographical area of the planet are more frequent, are increasing more frequently than in other regions”. 

Despite the mixed emotions, the reemergence of the church tower has sparked a renewed interest in the history of the village. The story of the church tower of San Roman de Sau serves as a poignant reminder of the impact of drought and the importance of preserving our history. As Spain continues to grapple with the effects of climate change, it is likely that more structures will resurface from the depths of reservoirs, providing us with a glimpse into our past and a reminder of the impact of our actions on the environment.


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