The symbol of Venosta Valley 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 Langtaufers 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/Reschen, 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/Graun, which
was completely flooded, were housed in temporary accommodation – basic
shacks located at the entrance of the Vallelunga/Langtaufers. The dam was the
product of fascism and through it hundreds of families lost the basis of
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.