Sunday, December 19, 2010

Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival in Bruges

In the Belgian city of Bruges, a festival of ice sculpture named "Ice Age" is traditionally held each year and is sculpted from no less than 300,000 kilograms of crystal-clear ice and 400 tons of pure snow. This treasure-trove of icy masterpieces is preserved in a special 1,200 m² thermal tent, where the temperature is kept at a constant -5° C. The first refrigerated lorries will arrive at the beginning of November, to deposit their 2 ton ice blocks on the Station-square. A fleet of bulldozers and cranes will move these blocks into the cold hall, where they will be stacked in preparation for the sculpting of the metres-high snow & ice decors.

In addition to the ice, a staggering 400 tons of snow will also be transformed into gigantic works of frosty art. The powder-fine snow will be made inside the tent and blown into specially constructed moulds. This allows for the creation of massive snow blocks, from which the figures and shapes can then be cut. The combination of architectural lighting and sparkling ice creates a magical and fairylike showpiece, which is guaranteed to make you shiver: not only with the cold, but also from wonder and admiration.

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