Ramsko Lake in Herzegovina was practically drained recently because of a dry and cold winter that prompted a sharp increase in electricity production. The artificial lake was created nearly a half-century ago to feed a hydroelectric power plant, but some 20 villages were submerged in the process. Now, as a result of the drain, houses and cracked tombstones have been exposed after the lake’s waters vanished.
“I remember people speedily abandoning our village,” a local man told AP, recalling the days in 1968 when he and his friends had been forced to part ways.
“Every day someone was crying as yet another family would leave.”
Nearly 2,000 people were forced to move to make way for the lake. Residents were given several months to leave their homes and move to different towns across Bosnia where authorities provided them with accommodation.
“We usually swim in this lake, but now — strangely — we get to walk on its bottom,” Marin Juric, a 16-year-old exploring the almost completely dried lake with his friends, said with a grin.
Local teenagers climb atop what remains of a village mosque, which residents say was at least 300 years old when it was submerged, and wander among old graves.
On the other hand, 79-year-old Ivan Baraban described past times that were “much better, much happier and filled with song.”
“People used to gather to mow the meadows together and sing,” Baraban said.
“We were content to work the land.”
Earlier this month, Jablanicko lake was also drained to produce more electricity.