This morning I got up at 4:20 just to head down to the Reschensee in South Tyrol with a friend of mine.
It’s close to Switzerland as well to Austria. But since I live in the North of Switzerland it took us about five hours to get there. It was super beautiful and super freezing there.
Since the lake was frozen, we could go for a walk on it. Of course, the main destination of our trip was the steeple above. There is a legend saying that one can still hear the bells ring during winter. Actually, the belles have been removed around 70 years ago (18th of July 1950). Which is exactly one week before the demolition of the church nave and the rest of the village due to creating the artificial lake.
For the curious ones of you, here are more facts about the lake and it’s flooded village:
The Reschensee ist the largest lake in the province and the largest lake above 1,000m in the Alps (surface area of 6.6 km² capacity of 120 Mio. m³).
The two natural lakes (Reschensee and Mittersee) were unified and submerged several villages, including Graun and part of Reschen. The creation of the dam started in April 1940 but, due to the war and local resistance, did not finish until July 1950.
In 1947 Montecatini, a company from Milano supervising this project, received 30 million Swiss francs from a Swiss company for the construction of the dam (in exchange for 10 years of seasonal electricity), ironically after the population of Splügen had voted against the company’s plans to build a dam that would have submerged that Swiss village. Graun’s population did not have such success, despite the willing ear of Antonio Segni who later became Italy’s prime minister. In total 163 homes and 523 hectares of cultivated land were submerged.