The ICEHOTEL is built each year in the tiny town of Jukkasjärvi, 200 km north of the Arctic Circle. Madness it may be, but this unique, world-famous ice hotel is a totally inspiring venture.
How did it all start? … It’s 1989. There’s an ice and snow sculpture art course in the village of Jukkasjärvi – pronounced ‘you-kas-yayr-vi’ (try saying that with a reindeer salami in your mouth). A snow house has been built as the art course venue. But there’s a sudden shortage of accommodation. What to do? Easy. Stick the artists in the snow house with the frozen art, give them sleeping bags, survivalist advice and a sauna in the morning to burn off the frostbite … And the ICEHOTEL was born.
Now, every winter, ice is cut from the frozen Torne River in Jukkasjärvi. Builders and artists get to work with mammoth sized ice blocks and at the end of frenzied months of chopping, cutting, sculpting and probably a lot of schnapps drinking, you get one ICEHOTEL and an ICEBAR. And a lot of tendonitis injuries. Then to add insult to injury, it melts every spring! But that is the joy of the ICEHOTEL. You get a new hotel and art installation every year.