Buildings made of ice. We're not talking about that novelty bar you visited on a trip to Vegas. We're talking incredible, impressive, complete structures built in the grand tradition of Ice Palaces all over the world.

Advertisement

Bundle up. This might get chilly.


The very first ice hotel was erected in 1990 in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden. Made out of 10,000 tons of ice "harvested" from the Torne River, Icehotel is rebuilt every year.


St. Paul started holding its annual Winter Carnival after a snooty New York reporter wrote that Minnesota was "unfit for human habitation" in the winter. Its yearly centerpiece? This impressive ice palace.


Image credit: St. Paul Almanac


Eagle River, Wisconsin is another small midwestern town that builds an ice palace every year. It started back in the 20s because apparently there wasn't much else to do. Seriously, that's the explanation on the town's website.


Image credit: EagleRiver.org


Of course we can't talk about ice buildings without going to the Great White North. The ice palace at Quebec's annual winter carnival is so amazing, it almost doesn't even look like it was made out of ice.


Image credit: Carnaval de Québec


While we're in Québec, we must mention the beautiful Hôtel de Glace, the only ice hotel in North America. Made of 15,000 tons of snow and 500 tons of ice, it has 36 rooms and hosts around 140,000 visitors every year.


Image credit: Lori Ziimer/Flickr


It also has a chapel.


Image credit: Lori Ziimer/Flickr


And a bar.


Image credit: Lori Ziimer/Flickr


And a freaking slide.


Image credit: Flickr


Planning a trek to Norway? Drape yourself in animal furs and drink vodka for warmth in the country's northernmost ice hotel, the swank Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel.


Image credit: Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel


The Lainio Snow Village in Finland opens every year in December and stays open at least through April. It even has an ice disco.


Image credit: Flickr


The LumiLinna Snowcastle in Finland is so crazy and cartoonish it looks like it was inspired by a fairytale monstrosity.


Image credit: Snowcastle.net


Harbin, China hosts the International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival every year, where giant icy edificies are illuminated for a beautiful spectacle.

Image credit: Flickr Blog


Likewise, Yanqing Ice Festival, held every February in Beijing during the Lunar New Year, features towering ice houses.


Image credit: Edecio Martinez/Getty Images

Advertisement

Advertisement

Top image credit: bjaglin/Wiki Commons