The symbol of Val Venosta is quite fascinating and rather like a fable. A solitary church steeple emerges half out of the clear waters of the 6 km long Resia Lake, against the majestic background of the wild Vallelunga Valley. However, the story behind this postcard-like image is far less idyllic and the romantic 14th Century church bears testimony to the irresponsible decision of the State to locate a dam there after the end of the Second World War.
As from 1922, Fascism had taken hold in Italy, including South Tyrol. In 1939, the Montecatini conglomerate began the construction of a of 22-meter deep dam project in Resia, with complete disregard for the sensibilities and remonstrations of the local South Tyrolean population. Construction was suspended after the outbreak of the War and it was hoped that this would mark the end of the project. But in 1947, just two years after the end of the War and much to the dismay of the local population, Montecatini announced that work on the construction of the dam was to be resumed.By the summer of 1950, it was all over. The locks had been tightened and the water was rising, flooding 677 hectares of land affecting 150 families, half of which were forced to emigrate. Compensation was meagre and the inhabitants of the town of Curon, which was completely flooded, were housed in temporary accommodation – basic shacks located at the entrance of the Vallelunga. The dam was the product of fascism and through it hundreds of families lost the basis of their livelihood.
The half-submerged church steeple in the Resia Lake has since been declared a protected historical artefact, becoming a tourist attraction and thus symbolizing the legacy of old Curon.References:
Craigmillar is one of Scotland’s most perfectly preserved castles. It began as a simple tower-house residence. Gradually, over time, it developed into a complex of structures and spaces, as subsequent owners attempted to improve its comfort and amenity. As a result, there are many nooks and crannies to explore.
The surrounding gardens and parkland were also important. The present-day Craigmillar Castle Park has fascinating reminders of the castle’s days as a rural retreat on the edge of Scotland’s capital city.
At the core lies the original, late-14th-century tower house, among the first of this form of castle built in Scotland. It stands 17m high to the battlements, has walls almost 3m thick, and holds a warren of rooms, including a fine great hall on the first floor.
‘Queen Mary’s Room’, also on the first floor, is where Mary is said to have slept when staying at Craigmillar. However, it is more likely she occupied a multi-roomed apartment elsewhere in the courtyard, probably in the east range.
Sir Simon Preston was a loyal supporter of Queen Mary, whom she appointed as Provost of Edinburgh. In this capacity, he was her host for her first night as a prisoner, at his townhouse in the High Street, on 15 June 1567. She was taken to Lochleven Castle the following day.
The west range was rebuilt after 1660 as a family residence for the Gilmour family.
The 15th-century courtyard wall is well preserved, complete with gunholes shaped like inverted keyholes. Ancillary buildings lie within it, including a private family chapel.