Destination: Jukkasjarvi, Switzerland
Place of interest: Ice Hotel
Next stop, the Ice Hotel! Make sure you have warm clothes, or you might freeze in this winter wonderland. Inside the hotel, the temperature is constantly 23°F, but outside it can get below -40°F. Brrr!
The walls of this work of art are completely made out of ice, as are the floors and ceiling. But that’s not all! The bed is made of ice with a mattress and reindeer skins on top. The Movie Theater has an ice screen and at the Absolut Ice Bar people drink from ice cups. Are you getting excited yet?
Inspired! In 1989, before the Ice Hotel existed, Japanese artists visited Jukkasjarvi, Switzerland and created an ice exhibition. A year later, a French artist arrived there and staged an “Exhibition in Ice” gallery. When visitors stayed overnight and slept warmly, they became enthused about the idea of sleeping in an ice wonderland.
Time for Prep! In the spring, ice blocks are cut from the river. They are stored in a vast freezer. This job take tractors, ice saws, and ice tools.
Let’s Build! Come October, it’s time to start the construction of the Ice Hotel. A steel frame is put in place. Snow Canons and heavy equipment mold snow over the frame. Two days later the steel is removed and placed in a different spot. Then, ice columns are put in place for extra support to the freestanding snow vaults.
In early December the main structure is near complete. This is when the interior refinement begins. Windows, doors, desks, beds, chairs, tables, lamps, and sculptures are created as a final touch to his magnificent wonder.
The ice hotel opens in mid-December and closes when the roof starts melting. Reservations are accepted until late April. Lucky for us, we have a time machine on our hands so that we never have to worry about the weather. It’s getting late, but before we leave, we’re going to get to go snow mobiling. If we’re lucky, we can ice sculpture, too.
Title: 100 Marvels of the Modern World
Place of Publication: Random House, Inc., New York
Publishing Company: Gramercy Books
Copyright date: 2006
Send mail to
questions or comments about this web site.