The Upper Venosta Valley’s Romanesque Tower
The most famous symbol of the Venosta Valley: the church tower in the Resia Lake
An old church tower protrudes visibly from the water’s surface in the 6-km long Resia Lake in the Venosta Valley. It is considered to be a symbol of the valley, and is a popular excursion destination for locals and guests alike, in both summer and winter. As idyllic as the tower appears at first glance, with the high peaks of the Ortler mountains behind it, the story behind the monument is a painful one.
The Romanesque church of old Curon/Graun was built in the 14th century. Today the tower recalls the large-scale dam project conceived by the Fascist government in the 1920s. It was only after the war, however, that the Montecatini Company carried out the internationally-supported project, and dammed up the Resia and Curon lakes to make one larger 22-metres deep lake. The local population was forced to make way for the dam, and was dispossessed of their homes on the grounds of “national interest for the strengthening of national industry”. Many villagers did not leave voluntarily. In the summer of 1950, 163 houses were detonated and the municipality of Curon was flooded, as well as part of the village of Resia/Reschen. 150 families were evacuated and housed in a makeshift camp at the entrance to the Langtauferertal Valley