17 sculptors from Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Wales and the USA led by Adam Bakoš used 225 tonnes of ice to create a majestic temple which was inspired by St. Peter´s Basilica of Rome and Bernini´s colonnade. 1880 ice blocks were changed to the unique piece of art that was protected by an air-conditioned cover with the diameter of 25 metres. The original masterpiece featured beautiful stained-glass decorations that were made by Achilleas Sdoukos, a glassmaker of Slovak-Greek origin, by using the modern glass melting technology. The Tatra Temple of Ice attracted ice sculpting fans from all around the world and offered not only breathtaking views but also multimedia performances and concerts during the season. The performing artists included e.g. the Vagonár folklore ensemble and the Church choir of St. Cecilia.
The imposing ice construction which has no parallel in Slovakia was closed on Tuesday 23rd April. The cooling system was turned off so that the kingdom of ice could melt down. “Until now, we have been doing our best to protect the temple from outside temperature differences by using air-conditioning. But that has changed and now we need to see the blocks of ice melted to clean spring water. We will be literally witnessing the changeability and ephemerality of art for the next few days,” said Rastislav Kromka, the main manager of the Tatra Temple of Ice.
The Tatra Temple of Ice is one of the biggest tourist attractions and has repeatedly succeeded in the survey called “The TOP Product of Tourism”, which is organised by the County tourism organisation of Severovýchod Slovenska (North-East of Slovakia). “It is tourists and visitors from Slovakia and all around the world who join the survey and vote. And that is why we are very proud and happy that the Tatra Temple of Ice was awarded also in 2018. I think this proves the significance and quality of the work and effort. I cannot but emphasise how disciplined our tourists are and help create the overall atmosphere in the Tatra Temple of Ice all season long,” said Veronika Littvorová, the CEO of the Regional tourism organisation of Región Vysoké Tatry (Region of the High Tatras).
The Tatra Temple of Ice was built in Hrebienok for the first time in December 2013. About 50 tonnes of ice was used in the first seasons, this winter it was four times as much, which is rather interesting.
The Tatra Temple of Ice was arranged by the Regional tourism organisation of Región Vysoké Tatry, the Tatry mountain resorts a.s. company, various partners, and financially supported by the Ministry of Transport and Construction of the Slovak Republic.
But with the Tatra Temple of Ice closed, Hrebienok is still attractive. Kvantarium – an interactive light gallery has been opened inside the building of the former Hrebienok hotel to offer various multimedia shows, interactive creations and explanations of physical phenomena with an original fairytale background, which all age groups will love.