Incredible Photos of a Melting Ice HotelS

Every year, Lapland erects a hotel made of ice in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden. And every year, when the weather turns warmer, the IceHotel melts back into where it originated: the Torne River.

Here's what the twenty-third incarnation of the IceHotel looked like when we visited it last year:

Incredible Photos of a Melting Ice Hotel

Ben Nilsson/Big Ben Productions

And here's what it looks like now that temperatures have hit 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit):

Incredible Photos of a Melting Ice Hotel

Only about half of the single-story structure, which was constructed on the banks of the Torne River, remains; the rest has melted away.

Incredible Photos of a Melting Ice Hotel

A new version of the hotel is conceived and built every winter using ice from the Torne River.

Incredible Photos of a Melting Ice Hotel

Annually, the hotel hosts approximately 60,000 guests before it closes in mid-April. The currently melting incarnation had 65 rooms, including 15 one-of-a-kind art suites designed and sculpted by artists from around the world.

Incredible Photos of a Melting Ice Hotel

Ulrika Hellby, who travels to Jukkasjärvi to help build the hotel each year, says "It's a strange feeling to wander the ruins of the hotel, it feels like yesterday that temperatures were minus thirty degrees Celsius and the hotel was about to open for the season, but now it is almost gone—completely still except for the sound of water dripping."

Incredible Photos of a Melting Ice Hotel

Find out more about how IceHotel is made here.

All photos by Arne Bergh.


Erin McCarthy is the deputy editor of Mental Floss, where this piece originally appeared. You can follow her on Twitter here.