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  • The Lost Village of Curon

    By Anthony Parente

    Kirchturm graun
    It is not often that you see a church's steeple rising out of a lake, but for those who live in Alto Adige, which is in northern Italy bordered by Austria and Switzerland, this image is one that you see everyday when you visit Lago di Resia. Thanks to the creation of an artificial lake that submerged the villages of Curon and parts of Resia for eternity leaving the 14th century bell tower to rise from the water as a remembrance of what this area once was.

    In the mid 20th century a decision was made that sealed the fate of this village and all those who called this area home. The town of Curon dates back to Roman times and its location allowed it to stay relatively unknown. That ended in 1939 when an electric company proposed plans to connect two natural lakes by constructing a dam. the dam would allow the company to harness the power of the water at the expense of the town. In order to join the lakes any village in between would be submerged in water.

    As you could imagine the people living in this area were not happy and tried everything they could to stop the electric company from moving forward. As hard as they tried the company started building the dam in 1940, but it took 10 years to complete due to World War II. Once the dam was erected the town of Curon was demolished and all that remained was the 14th century bell tower.

    Today the lake is a popular destination spot. In the summer high winds make it a great place to kite surf and in the winter people ice fish and and go snow kiting. When the lake freezes over you can walk out to the bell tower. Although the bells in the tower were removed in 1950 there is a legend that says during the winter months you can still hear the church bells ring. Perhaps it is the ghosts of the submerged village reminding everyone of what happened to its town.

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