Jerusalem Ice Festival: Jerusalem Made of Ice

As I moved the heavy, multi-layered curtain, I saw a lion. As you might know, a lion is Jerusalem’s symbol, as it represents courage. The lion’s position on the wall of ice seemed to capture it in the middle of a happy dance.

By its side was a big sculpture of a ball, the kind that you could shake to see make-belief snow fall…. if it wasn’t so big.

I was in awe of the ability to sculpture ice. Cheerfulness increased even more when I noticed the colors that came along for the ride. The colored lights changed in a way that surprisingly did not spark a headache for me. I was able to remain in bliss.

The official inside entrance was through a gate, representing the Jaffa Gate of Jerusalem. This gate is also called David’s Gate, representing the Tower of David, which is also present at the festival, made of ice. Jaffa Gate is the entrance gate to Old Jerusalem, where the Western Wall still stands. It was named this way for it was the beginning of a long path to Jaffa port, once Israel’s most important port.

My friend, Maytal, and I were greeted by an ice person, and noticed that the few people who were already inside were taking photos alongside the Tower of David. This tower is really a fortress, built in the Middle Ages. Today, you can visit it and explore the museum inside it, or just walk through the structure and enjoy the fact it holds archaeological findings from each period in Jerusalem’s history.

We took a photo at the fortress, then paid some attention to a big lion (yes, another one) made of ice.

Moving from one area to the other was done through gates each time. It was wonder-filled to noticed the details of ice art, and I wished there were some signs between the statuses, with explanation on ice in general and on ice sculpture in particular. I crave to make it to an ice sculpture workshop one day to learn more.

Moving through the next gate, we found the windmill that was created to provide livelihood and cheaper sour to Jerusalem residents. It was built by Moshe Montefiore, an English man who used to travel around the country in a carriage. His carriage is also displayed at the festival as an ice sculpture.

The icy representations of Jerusalem’s history were only the beginning. Soon we would discover other wonder worlds wrapped in winter feel. Stay tuned to the next few posts to discover these worlds with us.


Have you ever been to an ice festival?



    • Sorry I missed your comment, Rich! I never expected an ice festival to take place in super hot Israel, so who knows, maybe you’ll find an ice festival in a tropical climate (and if you do, let me know). Now I’m addicted, I can’t wait to see more ice festivals 🙂 If you happen to be in Argentina in its winter, there’s supposed to be an ice festival in El Calafate. Just note that the tropical climate there could be -30 degrees Celsius (minus 22 F)….
      Ayelet – All Colores recently posted..Jerusalem’s Ice Festival – Fairy Tales on IceMy Profile

  1. These are seriously beautiful sculptures! I wish I could have seen this. I had no idea it would be so dramatic and so beautiful!

  2. This cool, really cool! I see the Jaffa Gate and there is even Montefiore’s windmill! I visited Jerusalem but did not know that there was an ice festival there. In fact it was so hot that I would have never thought so.
    Thomas recently posted..Overpowering the SunMy Profile

    • The first one ever took place this year, and I was actually there in May! I was sweating from heat outside as I put extra layers to come inside. It was a space that was frozen up so that the creations won’t melt…. except they almost did. During Passover, more people came than expected and they had to get everyone out and close down for a short while because the place started to heat up. They started monitoring how many people were inside after that.

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