World Amazing Stuff: Amazing buildings made by ice

Amazing buildings made by ice

Jukkasjarv, Sweden

When it opened in 1990, the Sweden's Ice hotel was the first ice hotel in the entire world, and it remains the largest ice hotel. The entire hotel, including the beds, is constructed with ice blocks taken from a nearby river and the temperature can be as low as -8ÂșC in winter.

St Petersburg, Russia

In 1740, Empress Anna of Russia commissioned a huge ice palace in St Petersburg. Legend has it that she put it to rather wicked use: the eccentric Empress forced a noble who had incurred her displeasure to marry one of her maids, then made them spend their wedding night, completely naked, inside the structure.

Beijing, China

Marking the end of China's New Year celebrations is the Yanqing Ice Festival, a popular winter festival where an ingenious city of ice sculptures is lit in rainbow colors.  Beats singing Auld Lang Syne and watching Jools Holland, we reckon.

Finnmark, Norway

Norway's most famous ice building is probably the chilly Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, where visitors can get married in an ice chapel, admire an ice sculpture gallery and even drink in an ice bar, where (of course) the glasses are made of ice.

Eagle River, Wisconsin, US

Every December, volunteers from the city of Eagle River put in more than 700 'man hours' to cut nearly 3000 ice blocks from a local lake, drag them to the city and create an enormous ice palace. The tradition dates back to the 1920s, and some of the original equipment, such as an ice saw, is still used.

Kemi, Finland

The biggest 'snow fort' in the world, this enormous castle is rebuilt every year in a different style. Part of it is used as a hotel.

Yllas, Finland

Also in Finland is the 'Snow Village', crafted every November from around 1.5 million kilos of snow and 300,000 kilos of ice. You can stay in the hotel, have dinner in the ice bar and even dance the night away at an 'igloo disco'.

St Paul, Minnesota, US

In 1885, a reporter from New York sneered that the Minnesota city of St Paul was 'another Siberia, unfit for human habitation' in winter. Hugely offended the city banded together to create a winter carnival which is held until today.

Quebec, Canada

The beds in Hotel de Glace, North America's only ice hotel, are lined with deer furs and covered in heavy-duty sleeping bags and climate somewhere between -3°C and -5°C.

Saranac Lake, New York, US

The Village of Saranac Lake in New York builds an ice palace every year as part of its winter carnival. The tradition dates back to 1896, when an ice tower was created with ice taken from nearby Lake Flower.

Ice Hotel, Balea Lac, Romania

Romania's first ice hotel is so remote that it is accessible only by cable car. The hotel, in the Carpathian Mountains, is hand-carved every year by local craftsman using ice from a nearby lake. Next door is an ice church, perfect for winter weddings.

Moscow, Russia

Diane Von Furstenberg, Lucy Liu and Eva Herzigova were among the guests at a Valentine's 'Love Ball' held at this extravagant ice castle at Tsaritsino Palace Estate near Moscow in 2008. Over 220 tons of ice was used to construct the building.