You can build to last, but it won't help if the waters come to cover up all of your amazing houses and town buildings. That's the harsh lesson that towns and villages around the world have learned too late. Just check out some haunting images of beautiful, scenic towns that have sunk underwater.
The whole village, including the two old churches, was flooded in 1988, and since then only the churchtowers have been visible. The first one until June 29, 2014, anyway. This place was only one of the many destroyed towns and villages in the Ceaușescu-era.
The photos above were taken in 1995, 2008, 2012 and June 29, 2014.
The village of Graun, South Tyrol, Italy, in the artificial Reschensee (Lake Reschen), created by the Montecatini company with unifying Mittersee and Reschensee. Now only the tower of the 14th century church is visible — the other 163 homes were submerged.
Mavrovo, Macedonia, boasting the church of St. Nicholas. The town was built in 1850, and submerged after a lake was created in 1949 to supply water to a local power plant.
Mediano, Spain, flooded in 1974. A medieval bridge and a late 16th century church are underwater, among others. Only the spire of the churchtower is visible now.
28 villages of India, submerged in the Hemavati Reservoir in the 1960s. One of these, named Shettihalli had a beautiful Holy Rosary church, built in the 1860s by French missionaries.
The city of Potosi, Venezuela was flooded in 1985 with the water of the Uribante Reservoir, to build a hydroelectric dam. It was uncovered for the first time in 2010, thanks to El Niño.
Krokhino, Russia, was evacuated in 1961 when it turned out that the village would fall into the flooding zone of the Sheksna River after the Sheksna Reservoir became part of the Volga-Baltic Waterway. Now only the Nativity Church, built around 1790, is visible.
Some volunteers started a conservation and restoration project, so the church might survive.
Entire towns were moved when the Luiz Gonzaga Dam was constructed in Brazil, between 1979 and 1988. The arches of the old church in old Petrolandia are the only survivors of the flood.
(via Andre Estima)
The old town of Kalyazin, Russia, was submerged to make a reservoir in 1939 on the order of Joseph Stalin. The Flooded Belfry, a 244 ft (74.5 m) high Neoclassical campanile built between 1796 and 1800, is still visible on the Volga River.
Some other Medieval buildings and two monasteries are also underwater.
(via Dmitry Artyukhov)
The town of St. Thomas, Nevada, founded by Mormon settlers in 1865, stood beneath Lake Mead between the late 1930s and 2002
Here's a field guide (PDF format).
The forgotten village of Vilarinho da Furna (or Vilarinho das Furnas), Portugal, was submerged in 1972, 1900 years after it was founded.
The community lived there had really interesting communal political system dating back to the Visigoths.
Bonus: San Juan Parangaricutiro, a Mexican village, flooded with lava from the youngest volcano in the western hemisphere, the newborn Parícutin, in 1943.
Only the small church stands in the sea of igneous rocks.