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11th-Century Church Reemerges On Dry Land Due To Drought In Spain

11th century church in Sant Roma de Sau, Catalunya, Spain
11th-century church in Sant Roma de Sau, Catalunya, Spain [Image by Sant Romá De Sau, Cataluna, Spain on Facebook]
Spain is currently experiencing a severe drought which has had serious effects throughout most of the country. However, while the continuing drought is extremely worrying, there is one positive aspect that emerges from the disaster. In the small Spanish village of Sant Roma de Sau in Catalunya, Spain, a sunken, 11th-century church has reemerged from the town’s water reservoir, offering a chance for people to visit the site. Images throughout the page show the church gradually emerging from the depths.

Sant Roma de Sau, Spain 11th-century church reemerges from the water

Sant Roma de Sau, Spain
Just the steeple showing [Image by Sant Romá De Sau, Cataluna, Spain on Facebook]
Throughout Spain, various municipalities are taking action to conserve water, as a drought continues to rage. What with a lack of rain and extreme heat in the European country, water levels are getting exceedingly low.

However, among the negative news about the drought, some positive news has arrived. People can now visit the 11th-century church in Sant Roma de Sau which has been underwater in a reservoir for 60 years. The serious drought and its results are drawing what are termed “drought tourists” to the town from all over the world to visit the small church.

Creation of the Sau reservoir

Sant Roma de Sau, Spain
More of the church is revealed [Image by Sant Romá De Sau, Cataluna, Spain on Facebook]
In order to provide essential water to Barcelona, a dam was built to create the Sau reservoir some 60 years ago. As the reservoir filled, the 11th-century church and its surrounding houses were submerged under the water.

When the reservoir is full, only the church’s three-story steeple stands out above the surface of the water. However, with the drought, the entire church gradually emerged from the water. Meanwhile, it now stands firmly on dry land, waiting to be visited, and curious tourists have been pouring in for the experience.

Euro Weekly News quotes a local resident Sergio Iberico, who regularly visits the reservoir, as saying:

It’s unbelievable how much the water level has gone down. I remember paddling here and the water level was at the window of the church tower.

However, in January 2023, the water levels in the Sau reservoir stood at 19 percent, which was bad enough. Fast forward to January 2024, and the current water level of the reservoir is a mere 6 percent of capacity. This stands as a stark reminder of the drought Spain is going through right now.

A good time to visit Spain in the drought

11th century church in Sant Roma de Sau
[Image by Sant Romá De Sau, Cataluna, Spain on Facebook]
While the drought is negatively affecting the whole country, right now is an excellent time to visit. This offers the chance to see and explore the 11th-century church before it is (hopefully) submerged under the water in the Sau reservoir.

Another positive aspect for travelers is that many parts of Spain are relatively warm and sunny during the drought. This gives a chance to visit the country at an affordable time of year and without too many fellow tourists.

If visiting the city of Barcelona, Sant Roma de Sau is a 1 hour 48 minute drive from the city on the C-17 highway.

Read more news and travel articles about Spain here.




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