A church steeple. A lake.

A church steeple. A lake.

All that remains of the old Curon Venosta is the tip of a church steeple, emerging from a lake. This alpine village was inundated with water shortly after World War II when officials decided to join two pre-existing lakes into one large man-made lake.
The origins of the lake
Plans for a smaller artificial lake date back to the year 1920. In July 1939 a new plan was introduced for a 22 m deep lake, which would unify two natural lakes. The point of joining the lakes together was to create a hydroelectric dam. The creation of the dam started in April 1940, but due to the second World War and local resistance did not finish until July 1950.

The village and lake today
With the capacity of 120 million cubic metres, this artificial lake is the largest lake in the province and its surface area of 6.6 km² makes it also the largest lake above 1,000 m in the Alps. During the project, 163 houses and nearly 1.300 acres of cultivated land was flooded. The entire village of Curon Venosta is still down there, filled with sand. A new village was rebuilt at a higher elevation.

The church steeple
The lake is famous for the steeple of a submerged 14th-century church. The steeple has been left to stand as a historic memorial, and was restored in 2009 to repair cracks. In the winter months, when the lake freezes over, it’s possible to walk right up to the spire. A legend says that during winter one can still hear church bells ring. In reality the bells were removed from the tower on 18th of July 1950.

Source 2: http://weburbanist.com/2012/10/11/underwater-town-single-spire-marks-architectural-tomb/
Images source: http://www.urlaub-vinschgau.net/kultur/kirchen-kapellen/kirchturm-graun/
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