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Lake Como is hiding a submerged statue of Jesus
Posted on 16/07/2016


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Though very few outsiders know it's there, a bronze statue hides mysteriously beneath the waters of Lake Como at Varenna. But residents of the Italian village recently decided to shed some light on their underwater treasure...

If you follow the eastern shore of Lake Como down to its southern tip, you'll find the village of Varenna. Nestled between the towns of Mandello and Bellano, the village has since 1998 been home to a submerged bronze statue of Jesus Christ.

The secrets of Lake Como

The secrets of Lake Como
Stevanzz / 123RF

Little known outside of the immediate region, the work recently became the first illuminated underwater statue in the world. Using iWaveOcean technology, Italian company Luci dal Profondo installed permanent lighting to allow passersby a glimpse of the statue from the surface.

The bronze work was brought back to the surface for the first time this year to be restored and prepped for illumination, before being blessed at the village church and reinstalled. It was first submerged in 1998 as part of the village's annual Festa del Lago celebrations.

The festival commemorates the events of 1169 when allies of the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick Barbarossa, invaded the small island of Comacina on the western shore of Lake Como. Its inhabitants were forced to flee in boats, arriving in the village of Varenna where they were offered sanctuary by the residents.

Today Varenna still celebrates the arrival of the islanders every July, with firework displays and initiatives such as the submerged Christ.


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