A hidden medieval village that has been ‘frozen in time’ at the bottom of a lake looks set to resurface, potentially allowing visitors a direct glimpse back into the past.
The Italian village of Fabbriche di Careggine has been submerged beneath the waters next to a hydroelectric dam since 1947, but has remained in remarkably good shape beneath the man-made lake for the intervening years.
The small community in Tuscany was founded in the 13th century by a gang of blacksmiths, and quickly became well-known for the ironwork produced there.
Now, the town – which is near to another settlement called Vagli di Sotto – could re-emerge as the dam is drained for maintenance works.
This has happened four times since dam created Lake Vagli, and each time as the waters receded, the church and several buildings from the old village creep eerily from the past into the present day.
The most recent time the village was at surface level was in 1994, and thousands of tourists flocked to the site to catch a glimpse of 13th century life.
Pictures taken back then show that the church, the cemetery, and the bridge in and out of town are still standing.
According to the daughter of the ex-mayor of Municipality of Vagli di Sotto – a fairly tenuous source, admittedly – the works could see the submerged settlement dragged out of the depths and into the 21st century.
Lorenza Giorgi, whose father Domenico Giorgi was the mayor back in 1994, said on Facebook that the plan is to drain the lake next year.
She wrote: “I inform you that from certain sources I know that next year, in 2021, Lake Vagli will be emptied.
“The last time it was emptied in 1994 when my father was mayor and thanks to his commitment and to the many initiatives that, with effort, had managed to put up in one summer the country of Vagli welcomed more than a million of people.
“In 1994 my father tells me that it was difficult to attract such a large number of people and that everything was done without burdens on the administration, besides those of ordinary representation of a small municipality.”
She continued: “I hope that next year, strong of the past experience of which everyone has a beautiful memory and with the help of social networks, we will be able to repeat and overcome the great success, with just as much attention.”
It has also been reported that the energy company that owns the dam (ENEL) is considering draining the lake in order to boost the ailing tourism industry in the area.