The ice palace in St. Petersburg, Russia first appeared in 1740 as the handiwork of Empress Anna Ivanovna to celebrate victory in the Turkish war. In 2005 historians worked to recreate the structure with a team of 14 ice masters led by famous ice-sculptor, Valerij Gromov. Following detailed plans left by architect Pyotr Yeropkin centuries ago, the ice palace was rebuilt to include the 20 meters tall by 50 meters wide palace, a garden filled with ice trees and an ice statue of an elephant. The interior of palace is also furnished with furniture made of ice, including an ice bed with ice mattress and pillows. The palace is reconstructed every year.
The SnowCastle of Kemi by the Gulf of Bothnia in Finland is a source of great pride for locals, and a showcase of the architectonic “snowmanship” of its constructors. Construction of the SnowCastle starts in December and it takes approximately 5 weeks to complete. Because natural snow is too soft, the castle’s builders make new snow out of the sea water using snow pipes. The SnowCastle 2012 will be open January 28th, 2012.