Countless people have been bedazzled and swept away by the romance surrounding legends of lost and submerged cities like the mythical Atlantis.
But the idea of a city being submerged and lost beneath the sea is not entirely the stuff of myth. Such things have, in fact, happened before — and on multiple occasions.
Indeed, in countries like Spain and Italy, manmade lakes have been drained before, only to reveal a collection of fascinating ancient structures that had been buried beneath the waters and forgotten by the world.
And now, as the world is yet again amazed to see, this very thing has happened once more.
A Medieval Village Reborn
An old medieval Italian village known as Curon has been buried under the waters of Lake Reisa for 70 years.
The lake and the village are located in the South Tyrol region near the border of Italy, Austria and Switzerland. In fact, most residents of this area now speak German.
With roots going back to medieval times, Crun was once a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. But after the conclusion of World War I, the Hapsburg Dynasty had ended and that empire had collapsed, leading Italy to gain control of the region in 1919.
Shortly thereafter, Benito Mussolini had come to power in Italy. Mussolini’s government had decided to build a massive dam nearby which would unite two smaller lakes which were found on either side of the village.
This meant that Curon would be totally flooded, and so, Mussolini’s fascist government forced the approximately 1,000 residents of the village to evacuate. Thus, Lake Reisa was artificially created, though the project did not reach completion until 1950.
A nearby town was rechristened Curon Venosta so that it would carry on the name of the drowned village. After it has been submerged, only its bell tower, originally built in the 14th century, remained visible.
However, the dam that Mussolini commissioned has recently been in a state of disrepair. In order to allow worker crews to make the necessary repairs, Lake Reisa needed to be partially drained. And now, the old village has been made visible again, like a ghost returned from the dead.
The drama and mystery surrounded this village has fascinated and inspired people the world over. It has even led to the creation of an Italian Netflix horror show called Curon.
Thanks to this reunion with Italy’s past, the power that lost cities hold over the imagination has been vigorously renewed.