Five years after the end of the Second World War, construction began on a large dam in a small alpine village in Italy. The project, which was meant to produce hydroelectric energy, would unite two of three natural basins at the Resia Pass: Lake Resia and Lake Curon. The only problem? To complete the project, the 14th-century town of Curon Ventosa would need to be flooded. Despite protests from the village's inhabitants, the town was swallowed—save for a bell tower dating back to 1357, which has peeked out of the artificial lake since the town's ruin. But now, for the first time in decades, this modern-day Atlantis has been unearthed.
The lake, which sits on the border of Austria and Switzerland in Italy's South Tyrol region, was temporarily drained to allow for repairs, revealing the rubble of the village that once was. According to the BBC, locals have been exploring the remnants of the crumbled city, sharing photos and videos of ancient cellars and abandoned stairways on social media.
Long before the lake was drained, tourists flocked to the region to catch sight of the mysterious bell tower that emerges from the lake's center—it was even the inspiration for a Netflix series titled Curon. Its fairytale-like quality has made it a popular destination for hikers during the warmer months. In the winter, tourists can walk across the frozen lake to reach the spire.
Today, modern-day Curon Ventosa—a new village formed after the original's demise—has approximately 2,500 inhabitants and is situated above the one they lost nearly 70 years ago.
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