Fifteen sculptors worked on processing 720 ice lumps, which weighed a total of nine tons. They worked in difficult conditions by approximately 10-12 hours per day. It took them three weeks to build a monumental temple, which can be visited for free. However, you should do it quickly, because this temple will melt in few months time.
This ice construction is located at an altitude of 1285 m.a.s.l. in High Tatras, in Hrebienok tourist accommodation. To get there, you need to reach Stary Smokovec, which one of the most famous mountain resort in the Slovakian Tatras and then you can select one out of two options – reach the temple on foot or take a funicular.
New tradition and anticipation for a new record
Hrebienok is a place where very popular tourist routes cross. There, you can order some food and beverages, rest and enjoy the view of the Tatra peaks. For a few years, this place has another tourist attraction, which is only available during the winter season. Moreover, it has been becoming increasingly popular over the years. Two years ago, the ice building was visited by 100000 visitors and this amount was doubled last year. According to the locals, this year should establish a new record.
The temple was created by fifteen sculptors. They worked on ice lumps, which were delivered from ice factory in Wrocław. In time, these lumps have been transformed into Gothic castle walls, spire archways, altars and statues. Sculptors were separated from the sun, as well as from warm temperatures, with a huge dome. Thanks to this dome, the temperature remained there at the level of negative seven degrees Celsius. In these conditions, Sculptors had to work for 10-12 hours per day, throughout three weeks. They made statues of saints, as well as of Paweł of Lewocza. He was a sculptor who lived approximately 500 years ago near Stary Smokovec and is the creator of wooden altars, which are considered to be brilliant artworks today.
World Championship of ice sculptors
On weekends, the ice temple offers you classical music concerts. You can also book it for wedding ceremonies. Free tour is available everyday between 9 AM and 4 PM. This schedule remains valid until March 2017 – this is the time when the ice construction will melt due to thaw.
“Last year, the ice temple was the main attraction of the winter season in the High Tatras and it was caressing tourists for 137 days. Authors of this project intend to repeat this success this year. This is why the new ice temple is even larger and more stunning than it was last time”, states the bulletin from the National Center of Slovakian Tourism.
Tatry Ice Master is the unofficial ice sculpturing world championship. This event will take place between the 13th and the 15th of January 2017 in Hrebienok and representatives of nine countries will compete there. The topics of this year’s championship are “legends and myths” and “the global architecture”. However, the participants will also receive a privilege to create a free-form sculpture.
It doesn’t have to be expensive
You can find accommodation in the area of Stary Smokovec for approximately 10 euro per night.
On January 1st, 2009, Slovakia introduced the euro. - Essentially, the prices have not changed much since then. A dinner which used to cost 150 krona is currently for 5 euro and beer costs one euro – said Jan Bosnovic, director in the National Center of Slovakian Tourism.
However, the reaction to the euro from the Polish tourists was negative. - Average expenses of tourists from outside the euro zone who visit Slovakia decreased. This reaction should not be surprising, because the majority of tourists who visit Slovakia are from Czech Republic or from Poland. These countries are not the members of the euro zone – said Bartosz Grejner, currency analyst in Cinkciarz.pl.
Let’s resume. At the time when Slovakia implemented the euro, this currency was at the level of approximately 3.30 PLN. However, the zloty has clearly wore-off since then. Therefore, the prices within the euro zone became higher. The euro caused Slovakia to become a more attractive country for tourists from the euro zone.