Jaw-Dropping Photos of China’s Harbin Ice Festival

Slate’s design blog.
Jan. 6 2014 12:35 PM

Check Out These Stunning Photos of China’s Latest Metropolis—Before It Melts

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China's hottest new city is made of ice.

Courtesy of Access China Travel

In early November, some 7,000 intrepid workers began a blizzard of building in the Heilongjiang province, a frigid corner of northeast China, to create an over-the-top 6.5 million square foot landscape of frozen, LED-illuminated structures for the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, which officially opened yesterday.

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China's Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival kicked off its 30th annual edition yesterday.

Courtesy of China Access Travel

Siberian winds blow across Harbin, the coldest city in China, with winter temperatures dropping as low as -36 F. This year marks the 30th edition of the festival, the largest of its kind in the world. It will offer an expected 1 million visitors the chance to wander through a frigid winter wonderland cut from 180,000 cubic meters of ice chunks pulled from the nearby Songhua River as well as 150,000 cubic meters of man-made snow.

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A larger-than-life snow sculpture at the International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival in Harbin, China.

Courtesy of Access China Travel

This year’s festival includes replicas of the Roman Colosseum and the Empire State Building, and a 150-foot-tall icy reproduction of the Hallgrimskirkja church in Reykjavik, Iceland.

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A tribute to the Roman Colosseum at this year's Harbin Ice and Snow Festival in China.

Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

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It also features a 787-foot ice slide, ice structures you can walk through, and a reproduction of Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman’s enormous floating Rubber Duck.

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Visitors pose with a snow-based tribute to Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman's enormous rubber duck sculpture at the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival.

Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

The festival runs until the end of February, global warming permitting.

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A surreal ice city in Harbin, China.

Courtesy of Access China Travel

Check out this quick video for scenes from the festival:

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