The Eerie Beauty of Curon’s Resurfaced Bell Tower

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Italy’s Sunken Village: The Story Behind Curon’s Old Bell Tower

The pleasant village of Graun, known in Italian as Curon Venosta, is located in the heart of the Val Venosta tourist region, near the borders of Switzerland and Austria.

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The symbol of Curon is its bell tower, which rises from the waters of Lake Resia. The bell tower was part of the original village, submerged when Lake Curon and Lake Resia were artificially merged. It marks the location of Old Curon before the creation of the artificial lake. New Curon now extends along the shores of Lake Resia.

Built around the end of the 1300s, the bell tower, separate from the church, serves as a reminder of the events of 1949-1950. Engineer Josef Duile, in the mid-20th century, executed his plan to lower the “Mittersee” (also known as Lake Curon) while simultaneously creating new agricultural land.

However, this project was initially suspended due to a natural disaster in 1855, when the lake’s dam collapsed, devastating the villages of Burgusio, Clusio, Laudes, and Glorenza. The project was resumed and completed in 1949-1950.

In 2020 Netflix produced a supernatural drama television series that takes place in Curon

bell tower of submerged Curon

Under the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the next project was a reservoir for electricity production. The Italian government resumed the project in 1920, allowing the water level to be raised by 5 meters. In 1939, the state granted the consortium “Montecatini” permission to construct a dam on Lake Curon, which would raise the water level by up to 22 meters. The needs of the populations of Curon and Resia were overlooked in this project.

With the onset of World War II, the project was temporarily abandoned. The inhabitants of Val Venosta believed that the plan for the artificial basin was shelved permanently. However, in 1947, “Montecatini” announced the immediate continuation of the dam’s construction. The residents of Curon and Resia, led by Pastor Alfred Rieper, attempted to use all possible political means to halt the project. They even appealed to the Pope in Rome, but their efforts were unsuccessful.

bell tower of submerged Curon

Curon before the flooding

They attempted an uprising in front of the “Montecatini” office in Resia, but this too was unsuccessful. Desperately, the population watched as they were expelled from their land, homes, and farms. Eventually, in the summer of 1950, the tragedy reached its conclusion. The dam gates were closed, and the lake’s water level rose day by day, submerging 677 hectares of land. About 150 families were displaced, with half forced to emigrate. Compensation was minimal.

The inhabitants of Curon were provisionally housed in barracks built in a remote area of Vallelunga. In Resia, houses were hastily constructed before the onset of winter.

bell tower of submerged Curon

Today, the bell tower is the only remaining structure, serving as a reminder of the village of Curon. It has been placed under the protection of the fine arts department and has become the symbol of Curon. On 9 July 2009, restoration works were completed. The lake’s water level was lowered slightly in May to facilitate repairs on the static structure and address cracks on the north and northeast facades, likely caused by water infiltration and subsequent winter frosts.

The roof was also restored, as the bell tower is considered a medieval heritage site to be protected. The total cost of the 2009 restoration was around €130,000. In winter, when the lake freezes, the bell tower is within walking distance. A legend says that on some winter days, the bells can still be heard ringing, even though they were removed on 18 July 1950, before the lake was formed.

bell tower of submerged Curon

On Spring repair works at a reservoir in Italy have revealed the remains of a village that had been submerged for decades, according to BBC.

Photos shared on social media show the ruins of a house on what would normally be the lake’s bed.


Topic: curon italy legend, curon italy haunted, curon italy before and after


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2 thoughts on “The Eerie Beauty of Curon’s Resurfaced Bell Tower”

  1. Why is there always a photo that shows up when doing a Google search that never appears in the article that it leads to?


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