Bavarian Villagers Build Church Out of Snow and Ice

VIDEO: Structure marks the 100th anniversary of a similar church.

                                                            Image Credit: Armin Weigel/AFP/Getty Images

A Church built entirely of snow and ice had its grand opening in the Bavarian village of Mitterfirmiansreut Wednesday night. Villagers built the church, which is made up of more than 49,000 cubic feet of  snow, to commemorate the construction of  a similar snow church in the village 100 years ago.

The original 1911 church served a far different purpose, however, according to Catholic Church Dean Kajetan Steinbeisser, who blessed the church opening. "It was meant as an act of provocation," he said. "Believers from the village got together and built a snow church because they didn't have a church here."

The church at Mitterfirmiansreut, dubbed God's Igloo by one German newspaper, is more than 65 feet in length and also contains a tower. It was initially planned to be open before Christmas, according to Spiegel International Online, but the construction was delayed by warm weather and a lack of snow.

Although worship services will be held at the church, the religious radio station, Münchner Kirchenradio, has reported that the Catholic bishop of Passau, Wilhelm Schraml, has ruled out any masses, baptisms or weddings from being held there for theological reasons.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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