1. ICEHOTEL, Sweden
Sweden’ s ICEHOTEL is the most famous snow building in the world – with good reason. Made out of thousands of tons of ice and snow, the ICEHOTEL was the first and largest of the frosty resorts. And the hotel has no plans on that changing: every year from December to April they build the premises again, reaching a total size of 6,000 square metres. More Info: Ice Hotel
2. Jingyue snow palace, East China
Jilin Province’s annual ice festival just opened with a flourish of frosty sculptures in all shapes and sizes. One standout of ephemeral architecture is a detailed fairy castle with a hint of the Chinese Wall at its foot. A crystalline ice palace is another fantastic example of what a group of dedicated craftsmen can achieve with simple low-tech tools and materials. A herd of galloping horses and a carved Russian church painstakingly created from huge amounts of ice were also on display as part of the annual ice festival. It takes a lot of time, patience, and manpower to create these frozen water sculptures, and China’s annual ice festival is definitely worth a visit before it melts.
3. Life inside a freezer, Antarctica
What do people in Antarctica do if they don’t like snow? Two years ago, Taylor Medlin tried to found out. Medlin presented a thesis at the University of California called “Towards a new Antarchitecture”. The aim? To investigate sustainable construction techniques for the continent using wax to present the buildings, rooms and figurines of people in one giant freezer. At this kind of size, humans could never live in the homes. Then again, that is kind of the point.
4. Snow Palace, London
An artist is challenging global warming by exhibiting ice sculptures of London landmarks outdoors at the height of the British summer. The ice sculptures of Post Office Tower, The London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral and Big Ben are on display in the capital. Artist Percy Salazar created the piece to promote Chinese Harbin Lager for the Taste of London Food Festival. Spectacular ice sculptures are a celebrated tradition in Harbin, China.
5. Hôtel de Glace, Canada
If Sweden can do it, Canada can too: unintimidated by their Nordic rivals, Quebec’s Hôtel de Glace is an equally impressive edifice. The 36-room design changes every year, with the honour of building the only snow hotel in North America awarded by commission to different firms. The finished property boasts 15,000 tons of snow, 500,000 tons of ice and a cafe that converts to a chapel. Snow joke.
6. Snow Church, Germany
One Bavarian village caused an avalanche of attention when the townspeople built a 65-foot church out of snow to commemorate the last time it happened 100 years ago. Using 49,000 cubic feet of the white stuff, the finished building (including an altar and pews) sparked a snowball of bookings for weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies.
7. Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, Norway
Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, in Norway, is set along a river about 12 miles from the city limits of Alta. The hotel, enjoying its 13th season, is home to 30 bedrooms, as well as several comforts such as an ice chapel, an ice bar, and several common relaxation areas. Next door, guests have access to a restaurant, a sauna, and hot tubs. Snowmobile Safaris are a main draw for the hotel, and are a great way to adventure around Alta, which, by some standards, is considered to be the northernmost city in the world.
8. Sapporo Snow Festival, Japan
The Sapporo Snow Festival (Sapporo Yuki Matsuri) is the biggest and most famous winter festival inJapan. The festival takes place in Sapporo City, Hokkaido Prefecture for one week in early February. Originally started when 6 local high school kids built some snow statues in Odori Park in 1950, two million visitors now flock to Sapporo every year to watch teams from around the world participate in the snow and ice sculpture contests – in 2008 there where over 400 works on display, some of which were 50 feet tall and 85 feel wide. The sculptures depict everything from entire historical scenes and famous celebrities to Hello Kitty and other pop icons. In addition to the hundreds of ice and snow sculptures, visitors can also enjoy music concerts, dancing, karaoke, food, and more.
9. Chena Hot Springs / Aurora Ice Museum, Alaska
Deep in the heart of Alaskan territory lie the Chena Hot Springs, but the complex, paradoxically, is more famous for something at the other end of the heat spectrum: the Aurora Ice Museum. Made by 15-time world champion ice carver Steve Brice and his wife Helen, the museum is open all year round. Bars and rooms are the usual frosty affair, but the museum’s real wow factor comes from its namesake: a breathtaking view of the Aurora Borealis.
10. Yangqing Ice Festival, China
Yanqing Ice Festival takes place as part of the Chinese Lantern Festival, one of the most popular events of the year in Northern China to celebrate the New Year. An entire city made of ice rises from the ground and is lit up by colourful neons and fairy lights to create a magical and unforgettable experience at night.
Source: The Move Channel