Ice Church: Villagers Build 'God's Igloo' to Worship [VIDEO]

 
on December 29 2011 8:46 AM

Villagers looking for a place to worship in a small Bavarian town have built an ice church. Made of ice and snow, the ice church was built on the same location where another ice church was built 100 years before.

Called God's Igloo by a German newspaper, the temporary ice church cost $200,000. Villagers wanted to have it completed and open in time for Christmas, but they were hampered by unseasonably warm weather and little snow, according to USA Today.

The church is at Mitterfirmiansreut, Germany, near the Czech border.

But residents persisted, completing God's Igloo days after Christmas. It was blessed on Wednesday night by a Catholic priest, reports Spiegel International Online. Dimensions of the ice church (see video below) are 65 feet long, 33 feet wide and it includes a 65-foot tower and seats 190 people.

A century ago an ice church was built in the community to serve villagers living in the mountain community forced to travel an hour-and-a half to another town to celebrate Mass at Christmas. Town officials had said they couldn't build their own church from traditional materials so they built it of ice and snow instead.

It was meant as an act of provocation -- believers from the village got together and built a snow church because they didn't have a church here, said Dean Kajetan Steinbeisser, speaking of the first church, when he blessed the new ice church, the AP reported.

According to Munchner Kirchenradio, the Catholic Bishop of Passau said masses, baptisms or weddings cannot be held at the ice church for theological reasons but that worship services can be held there.

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