Ice Sculpture Festival In St. Petersburg, Russia

by Anna de Nord

Ice sculpture festival “ICE Fantasy” takes place every winter in the centre of Saint Petersburg — Peter and Paul Fortress. 170 tons of ice right in the heart of Saint Petersburg — but for a good reason! 🙂 It’s a temporary exhibition which brings us to a fairy-tale world of Chinese dragons, Egyptian Pyramids and Polar bears.

The festival takes place every winter, in December — January. The sculptures differ each year so the exhibition is interesting every time.

It takes almost one month to prepare the ice exposition. More than 30 leading ice-sculpting artists from Russia and other parts of the world to create this frozen kingdom.

Ice sculpture festival in St. Petersburg : dragon made of ice
Chinese dragon made of purest ice

Ice Sculptures Festival — Frozen Kingdom

Ice sculptures are placed in a special tent. The tent protects the sculptures from snow, wind and other nasty weather conditions. Winter weather in Saint Petersburg is unpredictable. Snowfalls, rains, sun, storms — everything is possible. During the whole time of the festival, the temperature in the tent is kept below-zero. In fact, the tent is a kind of huge refrigerator!

Besides, it’s rather dark inside. Ice compositions are illuminated day and night with all the colours of the rainbow. Transparent ice sculptures glow in this darkness. The frost sparkles on the ceiling… Hence the atmosphere is truly magical!

Ice sculpture festival in St. Petersburg : New York city
Cheers to frozen New York City!

Each time organizers choose a new theme for the festival. In 2019 it’s “A Trip Around the World”, obviously dedicated to travelling around different countries and continents. We travel from the underwater world of Australia to the hot and dangerous jungles of South America. At the same time, we meet the ever-cold Antarctic to the Egyptian pyramids in Africa, from North America to Europe and Asia…

Moreover, we see Venetian gondoliers, tigers, dragons, magical Indian totems, ancient statues of the pharaohs, the Statue of Liberty, penguins from the South Pole and a polar bear from the North Pole.

All the sculptures are not miniatures. They are more than man-size figurines made of purest transparent ice. Very elaborated works!

I can’t even tell which of sculptures is more impressive. For example, I adore the ice diver surrounded by ice seaweed, turtles and octopus. Great idea and realization! Same with the magnificent Chinese dragon — we can distinctly see every small detail.

Ice sculpture festival in St. Petersburg : tribute to Australian divers
Ice sculptures dedicated to diving in Australia

Of course, the festival sculptors honour Saint Petersburg sights. As soon as you enter the exhibition, you see the famous city’s drawbridge — the Palace Bridge. And a magnificent ship with scarlet sails!

Ice sculpture festival in St. Petersburg : frozen landmarks of St. Petersburg
Icy Palace Bridge, the famous drawbridge of Saint Petersburg

What Are The Scarlet Sails In Saint Petersburg?

The ship with the scarlet sails is a symbol of summer Saint Petersburg. The Scarlet Sails festival is a celebration of the end of the school year. During the celebration, a boat with scarlet sails goes along the English Embankment and the Admiralty Embankment towards the Winter Palace. The fest is incredibly popular because of the unique show: spectacular fireworks, numerous music concerts and a massive water show.

The Scarlet Sails is celebrated while the period of the white nights. Usually, it takes place during the shortest night of the year — summer solstice (21-22 June).

If you are in Saint Petersburg during the Scarlet Sails celebration, you’re lucky! Never ever miss the chance to watch the show. It’s a busy night, but 100% worth seeing!

Now let’s come back to our ice festival. The ship with the scarlet sails is held under the wide-open ice arches of the Palace Bridge. By the way, it’s a copy of the legendary sailboat. The highest and the most romantic sculpture of the festival, in fact. This wonderful ship symbolizes a beautiful dream which will be surely fulfilled in 2019!

Ice sculpture festival in St. Petersburg
The most romantic sculpture of the ICE Fantasy Festival — the ship with scarlet sails

The ice sculpture festival is interesting both for adults and children. besides, there are also additional entertainments for kids. For instance, they have to find and count all the hidden pigs, symbols of the 2019 year. If the answer is correct, the most attentive kids receive a reward. Adults can make a wish and freeze a coin to the pigs — for good luck.

Ice sculpture festival in St. Petersburg : symbol of 2019 year
Visitors make a wish and freeze a coin to this pretty Piglet. It supposed to bring luck in 2019

To sum up, I would say: include Ice Sculpture Festival to your list of thing-to-do in St. Petersburg. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the cool atmosphere of this frozen world.

If you visit Saint Petersburg in summer, instead of ice you can see the sand sculptures festival! Head to the same place: the beach of the Peter and Paul Fortress. There you’ll see amazing sculpture masterpieces made of sand.

By the way, if you have questions on travelling to Russia JOIN OUR FACEBOOK GROUP.
Feel free to ask for advice and share your own travel experience!


You may also like

Leave a Comment


Cyndi Buchanan 15.03.2019 - 7:00 pm

This looks amazing! And SOOO cold! I would love to bundle up and see an ice show like this.

vidya 16.03.2019 - 4:03 am

wow! each sculpture is so detailed and beautiful.. amazing.. i would love to see one of these someday.. and maybe in st.petersburg 🙂

Annemarie LeBlanc 16.03.2019 - 4:52 pm

I am at awe with the talent of the artists. To be able to come up with such intricate details in such a short time! It is sad though that their work would not last forever. I wish there was a festival like this near me!

Anna de Nord 21.03.2019 - 10:20 pm

Ice sculptures have no choice – they have to melt )) It’s a pity… but at the same time, they leave a place for new sculptures.

Dalene Ekirapa 16.03.2019 - 5:48 pm

I’m intrigued! Completely amazed at such creative artwork! Those who sculptured the works here absolute did it! I think that this Ice Kingdom should now be declared a travel destination, right?

Anna de Nord 21.03.2019 - 10:16 pm

I’d say is a nice place to go. Especially for travellers who love hidden gems and always seek for something outstanding ))

Kristine Nicole Alessandra 16.03.2019 - 6:27 pm

This is totally amazing! The ice they used for the sculptures are clear as glass! The ship with scarlet sails is so pretty. Made me wonder how they made that.

Anna de Nord 21.03.2019 - 10:18 pm

Yes, the ice is very clear! Due to this, as soon as lights in the hall change colour, all the sculptures change their colour too.

Clarice 17.03.2019 - 9:19 pm

OMG! This is really beautiful. I have always admired ice sculptures but it has been a while since I saw one. I would love to visit this festival in the future.

Michele Dennis 17.03.2019 - 11:26 pm

These sculptures are absolutely gorgeous and so intricate. I have never been to Saint Petersburg, Russia. If I ever have the opportunity to visit , I would love to attend this event!

Anna de Nord 21.03.2019 - 10:13 pm

Well, this is a nice winter event… But if you come in summer, you’d see sculptures made of sand – and they are amazing too.

Laura Dove 18.03.2019 - 12:25 am

Oh wow this sounds AMAZING!! I would love to go to something like this, it looks amazing!

Anna de Nord 21.03.2019 - 10:11 pm

That’s exactly what I was thinking: it’s amazing! ))

Takara Ayana 04.04.2019 - 3:34 am

The sculptures look amazing!i haven’t seen any with such intricate detail! I would love to see it for myself one day!


This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More