Just In Time for Winter: German Village Rebuilds Snow Church! [Photos]

Washington, DC is enjoying mild temperatures right now but that’s sure to end soon. Meanwhile, in Germany, villagers have snow on the mind:

Hotels and bars made out of ice have been common for a while — now a church is the latest project to get the cold treatment. In the Bavarian Forest, one congregation wants to build a place of worship out of 1,400 cubic meters of snow, just as their ancestors did 100 years ago.

… Stiefvater wants the snow church to serve as a reminder of an extraordinary event in local history. At the beginning of the 20th century, a trip to Sunday mass for people living in the remote mountain village of Mitterfirmiansreut meant an arduous 90-minute walk to the neighboring town of Mauth. After their pleas for a church of their own fell on deaf ears, the villagers decided to mount an unusual protest during the Christmas season of 1911: They built their own church out of snow. [Der Spiegel]

The visuals are impressive:

The original 1911 Snow Church:

The article mentions the original church was a place for “Mass” but the writer out of ignorance may not know that protestants do not refer to their services as Masses.

Can anyone help me find out if this is actual going to be a Catholic Church? I tend to doubt that.

UPDATE – it appears this snow church could well be Catholic. Plus, there’s a snow church in Japan, too!

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3 thoughts on “Just In Time for Winter: German Village Rebuilds Snow Church! [Photos]

  1. Gorgasal says:

    The original snow church was definitely Catholic. (As much as a snow church could be, anyway.) This part of Germany was solidly Catholic in 1911. “Solidly” as in “probably nobody knew where the nearest Protestant would live”… See also here (in German):
    http://regiowiki.pnp.de/index.php/Schneekirche_%28Mitterfirmiansreut%29
    http://regiowiki.pnp.de/index.php/Expositur_Mitterfirmiansreut

    The modern reenactment seems to be more of a tourist attraction. At least, the website is very light on any actual Christian content:
    http://www.schneekirche.de/

    1. Mark Polo says:

      That area of Germany is still pretty overwhelmingly Catholic. In any case, it seems that this “Snow Church” is primarily a commemoration of the efforts of their forebears. The webpage indicates that the town was canonically erected as an “Expositure” in 1930, ending the quest for having a church in the village.

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