Over the past seventeen years, we have built a new hotel of snow and ice every winter. It sounds like a fairy tale, but in fact, it is a dream – a dream turned into reality year after year.
ICEHOTEL is situated in the village Jukkasjärvi, 200 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden. The heart and backbone is the River Torne flowing freely through the unspoilt wilderness. Covered with a meter thick ice layer winter time the river becomes the source of all our art, architecture and design. The pure water and the steady movement of the river creates the clearest ice possible.
Today I watched a really interesting documentary about the Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi in the very north of Sweden.
Its a small village, where about 500 people live. In the wintertime there is no sunshine at all for a couple of months, instead there is a very beautiful dark sky with stars and moonlight and most exotic – the northern lights! A man who was not born in Jukkasjärvi but moved there about 40 years ago, wanted to do something special. He Obviously was an entrepreneur, and he started the Ice hotel.
In the beginning there was just a big igloo with maybe room for a few people, and the inhabitants of the village just shook their heads. How could anyone be so stupid and think that an igloo would get tourists to this small, cold (sometimes over minus 40 degrees celsius) and very dark place. All young people who were born there wanted to move away as soon as possible.
Well the Ice hotel grew every year. Now its over 4000 square meters of hotel and a lot of other buildings around with art exhibition, a church, one year they built a round old-fashioned cinema and played Hamlet ..
You can choose weather you want to actually sleep in the cold hotel, where its always around minus 5 degrees Celsius, you then use a special sleeping bag and lay on an ice cube with a reindeer skin over it.. OR.. you could just go to the Icebar and look around, have a drink and then sleep in a nice warm bed in the normal hotel close to the icy one.. its all up to you..
The Icebar provides you with whiskey IN the rock instead of on the rocks.. ha ha.. you actually drink your drink from a glass made of ice.
They have exported this bar concept and now you can visit the Icebar in Stockholm, Helsinki, Finland, London, Milan, and now even Tokyo.
Each year many tourists visit and more than 50 % of them are foreigners from all over the world. Designers want to take their model pictures up there, and artists want to come and join building and designing the hotel, which can have a different look each year.. because every spring, when the sun starts to get up over the hills and spread its warmth, the snow and ice begins to melt… Every year they spend more than 4 weeks to build it all up with snow and ice from the local river, and it all depends if the weather conditions are favourable at that time.
Maybe I will go to Jukkasjärvi some day.. it would be a nice experience I’m sure!
I’m not so sure they would let me in there though, I might melt the place 😛
Why not marry in the ice church ? HA HA!
But seriously, who wants to marry in the Ice church? Not the warmest place to start a long and loving life together…. might become a bit frosty in the marriage.. lol