Spain has a long and storied history of interesting culture, conflicts, and ancient mysteries. That is why it should come as no surprise that when weather patterns change, even more exciting things can be found in the waters.
If you weren’t in Europe during the summer of 2019, you likely didn’t realize how exceptionally hot the entire region was for those months. The whole of central and southern Europe was experiencing record high temperatures, and the country of Spain, was no exception. In that year, Spain was hit with record breaking droughts, that it has never seen in recent years. It was these conditions that caused the waters of the Tagus coastline to recede, and reveal a shocking sight – an ancient temple monument, the Spanish Stonehenge.
This temple that was revealed, dating to be between 4,000-7,000 years old, emerged for the first time in decades among the Valdecañas reservoir. The sight itself was previously excavated by a German researcher by the name of Hugo Obermaier in 1920; however, nothing was made of the discovery and the site was submerged completely underwater in 1963 during a construction project. The site was lost to the minds of the global community, until it’s recent re-emergence.
The site has come to be known as the ‘Spanish Stonehenge’, due to its construction of large granite megalithic structures organized in a 26m round circle. The resemblance to the famous English megalithic structure is rather uncanny. The tips of the structure were known to peak above the waters over the years when water levels in the reservoir were low, but it wasn’t until this historic summer of 2019 that they fully emerged.
Experts believe that the structure was previously used as a temple, or even a ritual burial ground. It is unclear, why people in the region would have needed the structure for at that time; but the fact remains that the massive 2m tall stones are something to behold.
Unfortunately, there have been concerns about how to preserve this unique monument. Granite is a very porous stone, and being submerged for the better part of 60 years has not been kind to the monument. Currently there are movements being launched to preserve and protect the monument from tourists and others who might damage it and all it’s natural wonders.
Many cultures have tales of ancient underwater temples and cities, the Spanish Stonehenge brings something mythic to the area in this regard. It gives an amazing look into older civilizations , and all who laid eyes on it have noted the sense of wonder and amazement it evokes. It truly is a wonder of the ancient world, brought forth for us to see again from the depths of the reservoir it sleeps in.