Man made lakes are one of those things that can serve an incredible purpose. One such purpose that generally occurs that is not always expected is tourism. One way to guarantee this: flood a town and leave the 14th century church tower sticking out of the water. That’s precisely what ended up happening near the Reschen Pass in South Tyrol, Italy.
What’s Under Lake Reschen?
Planning for a man made lake in the area began in the 1920’s by the Montecatini company, who wanted to build the reservoir for electricity. This proved difficult as they could not get proper support and met strong resistance from all towns involved. After years of delays and appeals to government officials, the villages of Graun and Reschen were submerged in 1950. A total of 163 homes were lost, including the famous church, whose clock tower still stands above 20 feet of water, and has become a main attraction of the area.
The Tyrol area is one of the most scenic and beautiful in all of Europe, and offers a wide variety of outdoor activities like mountain biking, hiking, skiing, and of course ice skating. When the lake is frozen, you can walk out to the tower for a close up view. Legend has it that you can still hear the bells ringing on cold winter nights, although the bells were removed prior to the flooding. The lake is located near the border of Austria, Italy and Switzerland, and is easily accessible with a car rental in Europe.