Ice Church in the High Tatras National Park – the biggest and coldest attraction
What a beautiful masterpiece! Apart from breathtaking mountains, glacial lakes, waterfalls, forests or first class ski resorts, High Tatras National Park has now been featured with one more attraction. And it was entirely made of ice! Ice Church known here as Tatranský dóm is definitely the biggest and coldest winter attraction in the High Tatras mountains.
It was made of almost 90 tons of ice bricks by the hands of 15 sculptors and their accomplices during three weeks of hard work. 720 ice blocks were modified and turned into a spectacular work. Its main author and designer was again the local architect Adam Bakoš. Together with his team worked on this wonderful structure and the result is magnificent. It is so amazing that if you were not planning your holidays in Slovakia this winter, you should really reconsider this.
Ice Church was opened on November 25 and it is planned to be waiting for your visit until springtime. However, there are some suggestions to make it an all-year-round attraction.
This unique ice church boasts elements of the local nature and is well hidden under a special roof to protect it from the warm weather. It was not built here for the first time, but already became a kind of regular winter attraction in the High Tatras.
The construction of this one started a month earlier this year. Dome is now bigger and its layout has been completely changed. It is made in Gothic style and one of its main attractions will certainly be a high-quality altar with a statue of the Virgin Mary with Jesus and a statue of Master Pavol from Levoča which is located in the arch to the right of the altar.
The church will also play host to several performances every Sunday, so if you are coming here on weekend, you will have a chance to see some of the Slovak folklore music and Christmas carols. And after New Year there will also be some additional theatre performances prepared.
An unusual place with a unique atmosphere is perfect for weddings and engagement procedures, during last year’s winter, 5 weddings and one official engagement took place here. It was visited by more than 200,000 visitors last year and we hope it will attract even more people this year.
Where to find Ice Church and how to get there?
The church is in its usual place in Hrebienok, which is a ski resort in the central part of the High Tatras mountains. Here you can get on foot or by funicular from one of the major tourist and spa centres known as Stary Smokovec.
From Stary Smokovec follow green hiking trail to get up to Hrebienok. Here is the tourist map: https://mapy.cz/s/1gRS3, where you can also find other hiking trails around.
The gateway to this national park is then none other than the city of Poprad, where is an international airport with regular direct flights to London Luton (Wizzair) and to Riga and Warsaw (airBaltic). Alternatively you can come to the larger airports in the nearby city of Košice or Bratislava and get to Poprad by train.
If you are in Prague, you can come to Poprad by direct train RegioJet for just 9,-EUR. The journey takes 7 hours and although it is really cheap the service is provided in the highest quality serviced even with a free coffee or wifi connection.
Where to stay?
There is even a hotel/cottage at Hrebienok, not far from Ice church. It is even a great starting point for your hiking trips to the national park. Its name is Bilíková chata and this wooden cottage is almost 100 years old and offers about 40 beds.
Its location is really unique! Find more hotels in the High Tatras with the best and unique locations here: Unique hotels in the High Tatras National Park.
Look at the pictures of Ice Church 2015
These photos were taken by FotoRoman. All pictures were published with the author’s kind permission.
What else to see?
Not far from Hrebienok is Rainer’s cottage where you can see few more snowy sculptures. Christmas crib made of snow and a snowy huge man that brings stuff to mountain cottages in the High Tatras.
If you are still not 100% sure and persuaded to visit Slovakia or would like to know what else is there to see and visit, check these Top places in Slovakia, or find out more information about High Tatras National Park in this article: National Parks of Slovakia and their best places to visit. I am sure you stop hesitating! 🙂
If you have just decided to visit this attraction in Slovakia, let me know below in the comments. I can help you with organizing this trip.