Made entirely of ice with no supporting structure, the Silverthorne Ice Castles stand up to 40 feet tall, weighing over 10,000 tons and requiring three million gallons of water to create. Artist Brent Christensen began building these castles in his own yard years ago, and now creates them as an annual attraction in Colorado.
Taking advantage of the freezing temperatures that set in before winter even hits, Christensen begins making up to 8,000 icicles every day; these icicles will serve as the base for the castles’ walls. Then, an on-site sprinkler system is used to freeze more water on top of the icicles. Amazingly, this creates a super-strong structure that requires no wood or metal supports.
The video below gives just a glimpse at how the ice castles begin to form.
Even cooler (no pun intended) is the fact that the castle is illuminated from within with 200 compact fluorescent bulbs, so when the sun goes down, the castle gives off an ethereal glow, casting 350,000 lumens of light. Visitors can see the progression of the castles over the season, as they begin to drip and melt toward the spring.