You’ve heard the story of Atlantis, a legendary city engulfed by the waves, never again to emerge. But you might not know of another submerged city, Curon, located near the Austrian border in Italy. Submerged in 1950, the town exists now only in the memories of its former inhabitants, and as one lone church steeple emerging defiantly from the water. You can pay homage to the sunken metropolis (no scuba gear required) when you find Der Turm – La Torre, our Geocache of the Week.
In the late 1930s, demand for a source of renewable electricity was on the rise. At the time, the Italian government made the decision to build a dam to harness and generate electricity for northern Italy. There was only one catch—creating the new lake would flood the tiny village of Curon.
Despite plans being put on hold for war, construction of the dam finished in 1950, sinking 163 homes beneath the waters of the newly created Lago di Resia. The lake itself is 22 m (72 ft) deep, meaning all houses and stores were fully submerged.
The only building still visible to mark the former city is the church tower. Constructed in the fourteenth century, this tower has truly withstood the test of time. It is routinely restored and has become a poignant symbol of the local area.
The cache itself lies on the banks of the Lago di Resia—no swimming is required. Parking is available, as the demand of tourists evolved into a source of income for the displaced former residents of the sunken city.
In the spring and summer, beautiful wildflowers bloom along the banks close to the cache, and in the winter you can venture right out onto the frozen lake at your own risk for an up close and personal encounter with the tower.
The bells were removed from the tower a week before the town was flooded. But, if you visit in winter, make sure to listen for a ghostly pealing that locals say still rings out across the frozen valley.
Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world.