The draining of Lake Resia in Northern Italy has revealed a village by the name of Curon that had been submerged under it for the past 71 years. Prior to the draining, the only sign of Curon's 163 lost homes was a 14th century church spire that protruded above the lake as a seemingly solitary structure.
The lake, located in the South Tyrol region, is a 2.5 square mile artificial reservoir created to provide hydroelectric power for the industries in Northern Italy. The village of Curon and its' 163 buildings, some at the time occupied by residents, was submerged for the creation of this reservoir despite protests from the aforementioned residents.
The village bordered Austria and Switzerland, meaning that a lot of the residents didn’t speak Italian. German was the first language of many people in the area of South Tyrol where the lake is located, since it was a part of Austria prior to the First World War.
German speaking villagers initially understood that the new lake would only be five metres deep, leaving some houses safe when the Italian notice put in the village said that the lake would actually be 22 metres deep, drowning all homes. Therefore, confusion and protests erupted when in 1940 the entire town was completely submerged and the artificial reservoir was created.
In fairness, the 1000 or so residents of Curon were notified a decade before the construction and were given 10 years to relocate prior to the submersion of the village. They were given temporary accommodation as well as monetary compensation for relocation. About 400 of the residents formed a new village nearby, while the rest are said to have moved away.
After construction, Lake Resia became a tourist attraction due to the unusual nature of the solitary bell tower protruding from the middle of the lake, and the winter freezing allowed them to walk over the lake. The eerie ambience of the sight has even inspired a book and a Netflix series titled Curon.
And now that the lake has been temporarily drained, tourists and locals alike are gathering to walk over the dilapidated site and document the ruins of the village. While none of the homes have survived the flood the old steps, cellars, and walls that had spent decades on the lake bed are now suddenly exposed to the public. “It was strange for me to walk among the rubble of houses, I felt curiosity and sadness,” a local resident, Lucia Azzolini told Reuters after visiting the scene.
The hashtag #Curon is since trending on Instagram, with visitors documenting the state of the resurfaced village and tourists re-uploading old images of the lake with the bell tower standing in the middle. Sadly, this new attraction won’t be here for long. A power company has started pumping water back into the lake, which will be back to it’s full stature in a matter of weeks, leaving the village submerged once again.