Jerusalem’s 2013 Ice City – Dinosaurs, Unicorns and President Obama

It’s April when I pass a massive gate made of ice and I am humbly greeted by two unicorns connected by their heads.

Further on, a slippery bridge invites me to carefully receive a closer look of blue lights, which represent a frozen waterfall.

All around me are ice sculptures representing vegetation of ages past, including colorful icy mushrooms.

I look at the drawing that must have started it all….

…. and I walk by a variety of weird-looking creatures.

The sign asks visitors (in Hebrew) not to touch the sculptures

One of them is busy eating….

…. while another watches the room (see the top right of the photo below).

Reigning the room is a sculpture of two huge dinosaurs, who show affection to one another.

In the next room, a fancy convertible made of ice is parked next to a pub made of ice. A sign promises this very car will be available in Jerusalem – I guess the non-icy one – on June 13.

Last year’s Ice City also included a pub, which got me wondering if actual food or something to drink was served during peak times. I once again find myself here in the last minute – so I settle for memories of drinking water in a glass made of ice at the Glaciarium, the glacier museum at El Calafate, Argentina.

And, of course, I smile when I see this ice sculpture of US president Barack Obama standing behind an icy Israeli flag. It reminds me of the madness that took over Israel during the president’s March visit here.

Unfortunately, it is then time to pass by another curtain – and return to reality. Last year, the friend I came with took time to defrost. This time, I’m here with Sabina of Solo Female Traveler and Traveling the Middle East. This time, Sabina takes time to defrost. I expect the same to happen to me. After all, it was a little cold outside when we arrived.

No such luck.

The moment we move the heavy curtain, the (relatively) warm air strikes me and my body instantly misses the cold. Had we not been in a hurry, I would have rushed back in and stayed in the dreamy, frozen temperatures until the festival’s employees decided it was time to go home.


Would you move to an Ice City? What would you want to eat or drink at an ice pub?



  1. I would love to go to an ice pub. I went to an ice museum in Fairbanks that had great statues, but it’s more surprising to see something like this in Jerusalem then in the near arctic!
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    • I’d love to visit the ice museum in Fairbanks. I visited one in El Calafate, Argentina, and enjoyed it a lot. I never expected an ice exhibition in Israel either, considering how hot it gets here – and, indeed, so many people came to see this wonder at the same time last year, and the exhibition showed signs it was starting to melt! So they learn to limit the number of people who get to go in at the same time.

    • Visits are OK too! 🙂 Or we could create an ice sculpture of the sun? 😉

    • This one was a lot of fun 🙂 I wish it was open all year long, but looking forward to see which themes they choose for next year!

    • True, true, it IS the country of (almost) constant warmth…. which is why the ice exhibition is so popular 🙂 I don’t think they sell cognac there, but maybe one day there’ll be an ice sculpture of cognac at the exhibition?

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