Lost village submerged for 71 years rediscovered as buildings poke up from lake

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An abandoned village which became submerged in water for 71 years to create a hydro-electric plant has resurfaced.

Curon, a former alpine village in Italy's northeastern South Tyrol, was flooded by authorities to become a reservoir in 1950 – forcing hundreds of locals to move elsewhere despite their objections.

This happened after a dam was built to merge two natural lakes and the village has been covered by Lake Resia ever since.

The lake has been a popular tourist attraction with hundreds traveling to see the steeple poking from the frozen lake in the winter and rising a further 20 feet.

During winter the lake's water often becomes frozen and visitors can walk right up to the spire and examine the centuries-old architecture.

And now the lake is being drained to do repair work on the reservoir, and the lost village is emerging.

Some locals have spotted steps, cellars and walls rising from the water.

Italy annexed South Tyrol after the First World War and Mussolini’s regime later saw the two lakes of Val Venosta as a promising source of energy for the industries of the north.

Curon, which inspired a 2020 book and Netflix drama of the same name, was once home to hundreds of people and many residents objected to the dam’s creation.

Around 163 homes were lost to the lake and 400 people who lived there were moved to another village that was created nearby.

Author Marco Balzano, who wrote the 2018 novel I'm Staying Here which is set in Curon, told The Times that the sight brought back "a problematic memory that spreads from that tiny village to the rest of Italy, taking us back to difficult times."

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Luisa Azzolini, a local of the region, tweeted photos of the village's newly exposed remains.

She shared her excitement at the reemergence of the village with the caption: "Curon as it had never been seen before!

"For maintenance reasons, the Resia lake has semi-dried and the remains of the ancient village of Curon have resurfaced!

"A strange feeling walking on the rubble of the houses…"

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