Reschensee lake: the silent witness in the water
Reschensee lake: the silent witness in the water

Day trip destination

Reschensee lake

Reschensee lake: the silent witness in the water

Reschensee lake lies in the Upper Vinschgau valley in the west of South Tyrol. It was made into a dam in 1950, causing two villages to be submerged in its waters. Today, the lake is known far and wide as a holiday destination.

If you drive over the Reschen Pass in the Vinschgau valley and get to the rather elongated Reschensee lake, your eyes will come to rest on a church tower rising up out of the water. This silent witness to bygone times is the church tower of Altgraun church, which is there to remind us of the year 1950, when around 100 families from the villages of Graun and Reschen had to leave their homes.

The lake and its history

Creating a dam here to provide the industrial areas of northern Italy with electricity was a plan that was mulled over during the fascist period. Construction of a dam wall began in 1940 and work continued for 10 years. It was completed in 1950 and the whole dam basin behind the wall was slowly filled with water. The inhabitants of Graun and parts of Reschen, whose farms were situated in the area occupied by the reservoir, had to leave their homes. Their houses were demolished and just the church tower was left standing on instructions from the Office for the Protection of Historical Monuments.

New beginnings

The expropriated inhabitants of Altgraun and Reschen settled in the new parts of the village near the lake – lots of them completely turned their backs on their home villages and moved to other parts of South Tyrol. Those who lived through this time often talk about those days and their old village now submerged in the lake. Yet the people adapted to their new circumstances and learnt to live with Reschensee lake as time went by.

Reschensee lake: the silent witness in the water

Hiking paradise and recreation area

Nowadays, Reschensee lake is a much-loved holiday destination all the year round. The vast majority of the population of Reschen and Graun used to be livestock farmers, but some now work in the tourist trade. Holidaymakers on Reschensee lake appreciate the peace and quiet and the mild, high altitude climate of the Upper Vinschgau valley. The views of the mountains, including the highest mountain in South Tyrol, the Ortler, in the background, are amazing. There are lots of options for doing activities on Reschensee lake. At the start of a holiday, a leisurely stroll around the lake is called for. You can see the mountains and pasturelands up close, on the other hand, when you take the Panoramaweg path above Reschensee lake. 2,120-metre-high Haider Alm pasture may be reached by cable car from St. Valentin auf der Haide, which will take you to the start of the old High Mountain Path, where you can hike past magnificent old arolla pine trees up to Schöneben.

Sport at Reschensee lake

Sports fans will appreciate Reschensee lake all year round. Thanks to its ideal wind conditions, the lake is not just an insider tip for kitesurfers, but for sailors, too. If you prefer to rely on muscle power rather than the wind, you can rent a pedalo or try stand-up paddleboarding. In winter, an thick layer of ice forms on the Reschensee lake – much to the delight of ice-skaters and snowkiters. Yet the ski pistes are not far away: the sun-soaked ski resort of Schöneben lies on the Reschen Pass and has the advantage of seven ski lifts and guaranteed snow until the arrival of spring.

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Farms near Reschensee lake
19 farm found farms found
Giernhof am See flower flower flower
Fam. Prenner  | Graun im Vinschgau  (Vinschgau)
Product corner: cheese, eggs, fruit jams ...
Farm offers: Experience everyday life on the farm, Barn visits, Experience the hay harvest
Distance 1,6 km
Position on Map
"Very good"
(9 Review)
Haus Wiesenheim flower flower
Fam. Plangger  | Graun im Vinschgau  (Vinschgau)
Farm with organic farming, Livestock
Farm's own products: milk, cheese, butter ...
Farm offers: Helping out in the barn, Experience the hay harvest
Distance 1,7 km
Position on Map
"Very good"
(2 Review)
Langenhof flower flower
Fam. Patscheider  | Graun im Vinschgau  (Vinschgau)
Farm with organic farming, Livestock
Farm's own products: milk, eggs
Distance 1,8 km
Position on Map
(1 Review)
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Reschensee lake

Further information

Tourist info
Via principale
39027 Cuorn Venosta

The Church Tower in the Lake
The symbol of Venosta Valley: the sumberged steeple in Resia lake.