The bell tower in Lake Reschen in South Tyrol, Italy
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Italy's submerged village. The submerged village of South Tyrol
A 14th-century church tower peeking above the water offers a clue to the past here at Lake Reschen in South Tyrol, Italy’s northernmost province. Until the mid-20th century, this site in the Italian Alps was home to the village of Graun, which included 163 homes. But in 1939 an electric company announced plans to build a dam and an artificial lake here, which would submerge Graun and part of the town of Reschen. Despite public outcry and delays due to World War Two, the towns were eventually submerged in 1950 (with everyone safely removed, of course).
These days, the remaining church steeple draws tourists, especially in the winter, when the lake is frozen over and visitors can walk across it. Some say you can still hear the bell toll on the coldest nights.