Telegraph report– The structure in the Făgăraș Mountains of Romania is six metres tall, 14 metres long, and seven metres wide, and is a copy of an old church in Transylvania.
It is formed entirely of ice. Chunks were cut from Balea Lake, around 200 miles northwest of Bucharest, using a chain saw. They were blessed by priests and cemented together with snow and water to build the church.
A similar structure has been built every winter for the past few years, and it has been the location of baptisms and wedding blessings. It contains a depiction of the Last Supper carved from ice, and has a traditional cross on its roof.
This week more than a dozen worshippers attended a service held by Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant clerics.
Michael Regen, a priest from the Evangelical Church, said: “(We are) submerged in water now, surrounded by water. Let this be a place for us to pray, let this be a place where people come with pleasure.”
Disputes relating to church ownership have caused strained relations between the different Christian churches in Romania over the years.
The communists seized churches in 1945, which were then given to the Romanian Orthodox Church. Some have not been returned.
But Ioan Crisan, an Eastern Rite Catholic priest, said the Ice Church was a place to set aside religious differences.
“For a few moments, people forget what they left down in the valley: the fights, the misunderstandings, the contradictory arguments,” he said.