Mexico’s Viral ‘Submerged Church’ And Six More Places That Feel Like ‘Game Of Thrones’ Sets


Imagine living near this lake and noticing, as week after week goes by without rain and the water gradually recedes, that a 450-year-old relic is slowly revealing itself. It stands half-submerged — all eerie abandoned towers, algae-slicked stone, and glassless windows. A church unseen for years by anything save for the native fauna of the Mexican lake in which it’s concealed. Until now, when historic drought conditions made it visible again and Facebook sent the images viral.

It feels like a set stolen from Game of Thrones, doesn’t it? Somewhere you could contract a little greyscale perhaps?

Looking at this half-drowned church — the Temple of Santiago — it’s easy to imagine being Tyrion and Jorah floating through Old Valyria.

If you share Arya’s wanderlust, check out these other real places that look like Game of Thrones sets:


Kalavantin Durg, India

Legend has it that this fortress, constructed atop a 2,300-foot stone spire, is named after a princess. To reach it, you’re going to need to climb the spiraling steps hand-cut into the rock, or be a princess with your own method of transportation.

The climb is nicknamed the “Stairway to Heaven,” — which might become very literal considering there are no handrails.

Gedi Ruins, Malindi, Kenya

Now a protected national park, the Gedi Ruins are shrouded in enough mystery to make for GOT-worthy subplot. The community was thriving and complex in the 14th century, boasting flushing toilets, running water, and a healthy trade with outside cultures. Then in the 17th century, this remarkable city was abandoned to the jungle, for reasons that still remain unclear.


Miranda Castle, Celles, Belgium


Now abandoned itself, Miranda Castle once stood as a home for abandoned children, after the family owners left it during WWII. It’s now popular with urban explorers, and possibly sadists named Myranda.

Craco, Italy


Craco was built on a summit for defense, but nothing could protect it from the ravages of nature. Earthquakes forced this 8th century city to shut its doors in the 1980s. Today, it’s a popular location for filmmakers with really good insurance policies.

Church of the Nine Ghosts, Czech Republic

This medieval church was abandoned after a roof collapse during a funeral, so, naturally, in a bid to save it, an artist populated its pews with shrouded ghosts. Now it’s totally not scary anymore, and also not a great hiding place for the White Walkers.

Kolmanskop, Namibia


It’s easy to imagine Daenerys coming upon the sand-flooded ghost town of Kolmanskop during her trek through the Red Waste. It feels like a perfect haunted pit stop — as if some diamond-mad German community had encamped half-way to Qarth, then died off one by one.