At first look you are astonished when you see the top of a church tower rising out of the lake. A tower in the middle of the lake… What’s it all about?! 

The Sunken city in Italy: on the one hand, it looks so extraordinary… but on the other hand, it just doesn’t really fit into the picturesque image of the lake and its idyllic surroundings, but either way, the church tower in Lake Reschen, or Lago di Resia in Italian, is a true tourist attraction.

The Sunken City in Italy in Lake Reschen


The nearly 6km long lake is situated on the boarder of Austria and Switzerland, or more precisely in the small Italian commune of Graun in South Tirol. This gorgeous, blue reservoir lake in sunny weather is beautiful, but the true attraction is what stands in the middle of the lake and is known as the emblem of the region. I’m talking obviously about the old church tower Alt-Graun, which was once known as the St. Katharina parish church.

The church was built in the 14th century and was surrounded by three lakes at that time: The Reschensee, Mittersee and Haidersee. In 1950 the so-called Reschen Pass blocked up the three lakes. this meant that the whole village of Graun and a large part of Reschen village were drowned. The inhabitants of the small community were forced to resettle and in total 163 houses were destroyed and more than 500 hectares of fertile land were flooded. Today, below the water you can only recognise the remains of the sunken city, and above the water only the old, romantic church tower is visible, which was left standing for reasons of heritage conservation and has already been restored several times. There are rumours that you can still hear the bells today, sounding out through the depths…


Holidaying at Lake Reschen

Despite its sad history, Lake Reschen has become a popular tourists destination in recent years. This isn’t only down to the famous church tower which rises out of the lake though, creating a great photo opportunity, but also due to the beautiful surroundings, which offer opportunities for both something relaxing and active. Countless hiking and cycle routes tangle their way around the lake, and in winter it attracts active holidaymakers from all over Europe for snow kiting and ice yachting. Since 2008 the snow kiting world championships have taken place here each year. For those that like to enjoy a little time out and just relax in the stunning natural surroundings, then they’re in the right place here. Just take a picnic basket with you, find a nice, quiet spot in the greenery with a view of the lake and enjoy your meal in the fresh air. Wonderful!

Enjoy the gorgeous views on a cycle ride around the great landscapes of South Tirol.

So, are you interested in a little trip to the beautiful South Tirol?

Find cheap hotels around Lake Reschen here

Find flights to Italy here