A century ago, winters in Bavaria were so brutal that one Christmas, villagers in Mitterfirmiansreut were unable to hike to the nearest church, and they were forced to build one out of snow.
For the 101st anniversary of the snow church this year, the town enlisted architect Alfons Doeringer to rebuild the snowthedral, nicknamed “God’s Igloo.” This took $168,000 and 49,000 cubic feet of snow, but the whole thing was nearly derailed by unseasonably warm, wet weather.
The number of "ice days" in Bavaria with maximum temperatures above freezing is projected to decline by 50 percent by 2050, leading to flooding and significantly reduced snow cover. The age of the 65-foot snow building may be over.
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