The Church Tower in the Lake
The Symbol of Venosta Valley: the Submerged Steeple in Resia Lake
The symbol of Val Venosta is quite fascinating and rather like a fable. A solitary church steeple emerges half out of the clear waters of the 6 km long Resia Lake, against the majestic background of the wild Vallelunga Valley. However, the story behind this postcard-like image is far less idyllic and the romantic 14th Century church bears testimony to the irresponsible decision of the State to locate a dam there after the end of the Second World War.
As from 1922, Fascism had taken hold in Italy, including South Tyrol. In 1939, the Montecatini conglomerate began the construction of a of 22-meter deep dam project in Resia, with complete disregard for the sensibilities and remonstrations of the local South Tyrolean population. Construction was suspended after the outbreak of the War and it was hoped that this would mark the end of the project. But in 1947, just two years after the end of the War and much to the dismay of the local population, Montecatini announced that work on the construction of the dam was to be resumed.
By the summer of 1950, it was all over. The locks had been tightened and the water was rising, flooding 677 hectares of land affecting 150 families, half of which were forced to emigrate. Compensation was meagre and the inhabitants of the town of Curon, which was completely flooded, were housed in temporary accommodation – basic shacks located at the entrance of the Vallelunga. The dam was the product of fascism and through it hundreds of families lost the basis of their livelihood.
The half-submerged church steeple in the Resia Lake has since been declared a protected historical artefact, becoming a tourist attraction and thus symbolizing the legacy of old Curon.