New ice church blessed in Romania

Priests from different denominations celebrate the annual Inagural mass for the Ice Church in Romania's Fagras Mountains.Photo: Reuters

Priests from different Christian denominations have given their blessing to a unique ice church located at the Balea Lac resort in Romania's Fagaras Mountains.

According to the IB Times, a group of leaders came together on Thursday to hold the annual inaugural Mass for the Ice Church in the Hotel of Ice. Among the priests who came together for the ceremony were a Franciscan monk, a Romanian Orthodox priest and a Greek Catholic priest.

The Hotel of Ice revealed on its website that the church was born out of the concept of "religious tourism". The hotel sponsored the construction of the church within its premises, and said that it was intended to be open to various denominations.

The church, which is located more than 2,000 metres high in the mountains, has become a popular tourist attraction even among those of different religious orientations, the Hotel of Ice claimed. The church's architecture is based on another church in Malancrav, in Sibiu County in Romania, and its interior features an ice altar and a large crucifix also made out of ice.

Every year, the church is constructed out of sanctified ice from the waters of the Balea Lake. Priests from different Christian denominations are called to give their blessings to the waters of Balea Lake before they are frozen to make the blocks of ice for the church. Once the structure has been completed, the priests are again called to perform an inaugural Mass to commemorate the building of the new ice church.

According to the hotel, the church has celebrated baptisms and weddings as well as religious services for different Christian denominations. The church has also hosted religious concerts.