If you’re a fan of Curon, then you may already know the answer or like me, you simply assumed that it was either a man made prop or some kind of computer- generated image (cgi) magic created specifically for the show. You’d be wrong on both counts because the half-submerged church steeple is an actual factual historic landmark. But before I get into the 7-part series that was created around it, a little history, first, eh?
Firstly, let’s get our geographical bearings correct out the gate–the lake in question is located in South Tyrol, Italy, near the border with Austria and Switzerland in the scenic Venosta Valley and is about 22 meters or 72 feet deep as of June 2020.
The history of the bell tower dates back to 1950 when, five years after the end of World War II, the construction of a large dam was taking place for the production of hydroelectric energy which would unite two of the three natural basins at the Resia Pass–Lake Resia and Lake Curon.
When civil engineers combined the two lakes, the water swallowed the old town of Curon Venosta and part of Resia forever. Or until the lake dries up due to drought or some other natural disaster such as is the case of Lake Mead, but I digress. Despite protests and even having involved a Pope to intercede, 150 families were forced to abandon their homes, jobs and everything they had. Wait. I’ve heard this one somewhere before…oh yes, where was it? The ghost town of Centralia, which remains today the epic fail of all levels of government in the state of Pennsylvania. But more on that in a future post.
Back to Curon. With their homes gone, most residents were forced to move away while a small remaining minority founded a new Curon Venosta. But standing as a stark reminder of the event is the bell tower of the Romanesque Church of Santa Caterina d’Alessandria built somewhere around 1357 or thereabouts. It was the only structure to survive the explosion that demolished about 160 buildings to make room for the man-made lake. (Cue the dramatic music here.)
It’s a given that any little town on the planet in search of some kind of revenue stream, as a matter of survival, would create and disseminate anecdotal snippets that would inspire tourists to check it out. At the same time, the mythology can neither be confirmed nor denied (Nessie, anyone?) so the local legend has it that on winter nights, when the lake freezes and the bell tower can be reached on foot, the bells, which were removed before the basin was flooded, can still be heard. (Bwahahahaha hahahaha hahahaha.)
The TV series, Curon, debuted just last month on streaming video and showcases the lives of four Italian teenagers who, as per their demographic, lead fairly typical lives, but simmering just below the surface, are the tantalizing tales of il lupo oscuro/dark shadows they’ve overheard the adults talking about in hushed tones. Ah, yes, the duality of human nature is hilarious until someone gets his eye ripped out by his own evil doppelgänger, which is exactly what happens on cold, dark nights in the alpine town of Curon.
Assuming you’re into languages spoken other than English, what’s curious about this series is that parlance switches gears from Italian to German to English and back again because those are the primary languages in South Tyrol.
Polyglot, et vous?
I highly recommend this series if you’re looking for supernatural entertainment, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that it, in any way, compares to Dark. (Hint: Future review of same in the works.)
For a closer look of the bell tower check out the following drone footage:
(Note: the embedded video may be blocked but is accessible here.