Image (c) Der Spiegel.
Mitterfirmiansreut is a small Bavarian town that celebrates Christmas in the most unlikely of ways. Over a century ago, before climate change made Christmas the lukewarm and rainy affair we know it as today, a terrible Christmas snowstorm hit Mitterfirmiansreut. The townspeople were completely snowbound, unable to make the 90-minute trek to the nearest church for Christmas services. According to town lore, they shaped some of the fresh snow into a cave-like church, where they held their own services that day.
This year, the town hired a Passau architect to recreate the snow church in time for its 101st anniversary. Der Spiegel reports that it took architect Alfons Doeringer 49,000 cubic feet of snow to build the 65-foot structure, which cost about $168,000. Ironically, warm weather and a complete lack of snow delayed the construction process. The "snowthedral," which can hold 200 people but isn't ordained to complete ceremonies beyond mass, opened to the public on the 28th. Click through for more images.
Image (c) Armin Weigel, via the LA Times.
Images (c) Der Spiegel.