A vital source of life ended up marking the end of a quaint village, now destined to be abandoned and end up in complete ruins.
The village of Sfendyli is located on the Greek island of Crete, which every year attracts hundreds of thousands of British tourists.
However, the village is far from being a holiday hotspot like Heraklion or Malia, where tourists go to relax, sunbathe and shop.
Located a few kilometres south of the Hersonissos municipality, Sfendyli has been nicknamed the modern Atlantis and mostly attracts daring tourists interested in visiting eerie locations.
Its comparison with the mythical submerged city of Atlantis is due to the fact the village is slowly being covered by the water of the nearby artificial dam, Aposelemi, completed in the early 2010s.
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The dam was created to provide drinking water and irrigation in the northern part of the island and has become the largest water supply project in Crete.
But the slowly rising level of the artificial body of water, the capacity of which exceeds 30,000,000 m3, is in turn making this village disappear from the map.
Depending on the season and whether the area is experiencing a drought, more or less features of the village can be seen.
Astonishing pictures of the area show how at times only some of the village’s roofs can be seen emerging from the water, while when the weather is warmer more houses and destroyed roads can be spotted above the level of the dam.
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One tourist who headed to Sfendyli in 2018 recalled its “eerie vibe”.
In a Tripadvisor review, Dutch user Abraham D. wrote: “The road to the city was semi-closed but we gave it a try anyway. I think the area is often flooded, so you may want to be careful. We visited in a very dry July.
“We drove down the road, kept left on the y-junction halfway. We didn’t know what to expect [so] we were surprised. It is a town, partly in ruins, so again you need to be careful on your visit, but it was an interesting sight. It has an eerie vibe.
“The city was abandoned when the dam was built and the area was flooded. The church is still in good shape, as if someone has been maintaining it. Some collapsed buildings and some graffiti. An interesting visit.”
The church mentioned by the tourist dates back to the 15th century and presents frescos by Byzantine painters Emmanuel and Ioannis Fokas.
This isn’t the only medieval settlement to have seen its fate sealed by a dam.
The medieval fortress village of Granadilla had to be abandoned in the 1960s after the Spanish government had forecasted a new nearby dam would end up submerging it.
However, the water level never rose enough, but its former residents remained barred from repossessing their homes.
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