These wintry buildings certainly won’t allow you to sit near the fireplace, but they prove that snow and ice can make beautiful structures.
We generally think about buildings as warm places to find protection from cold, ice and snow, but these buildings are so cool, you might not mind sleeping in your overcoat!
Ice hotel, Sweden
This impressive building is the world’s first and largest hotel built entirely of ice and snow. Each year, huge ice blocks weighing more than 2 tons each are plucked from the frozen Torne River and shaped into magnificent suites, a restaurant and the famous Ice Bar.
Ice church, Romania
Most European churches were built to stand for centuries, but one new church erected in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania fades away every summer only to be rebuilt from ice and snow each winter. The church, located just more than a mile up in the Fagaras range of the Carpathians in southern Transylvania, is the brainchild of Arnold Klingeis, who hoped to attract tourists up to his cabin on the shore of Lake Balea. Excavating the church required 30 workers who extracted ice from a frozen lake over a three-week period.
Ice castle, Finland
Building snowmen and snow forts is generally dismissed as child’s play, but in Kemi, Finland, creating masterpieces out of snow and ice is a time-honored tradition. Complete with a hotel, restaurant and chapel, the Lumi Linna snow castle is truly an architectural marvel. Unfortunately for the castle builders, natural snow is too soft to create the solid walls of the structure. Instead, artificial snow is made using seawater from the nearby Gulf of Bothnia.
What’s the biggest, craziest thing you’ve ever built out of snow and ice? Share it in a comment!