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Ice Sculpture Festival in Zwolle 2022

Around 250,000 kilos of ice is yearly used to turn Zwolle's city centre into a majestic winter wonderland

Dates: December 17, 2022–March 5, 2023

Ice Sculpture Festival in Zwolle
Ice Sculpture Festival in Zwolle
Ice Sculptures Festival in Zwolle, 2015
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Zwolle's snow and ice sculpture festival is the biggest event of this kind in Europe. Every year a different theme is chosen, and dozens of artists from the Netherlands and overseas work with their chisels and gas burners to cre​ate unique sculptures that will be on display at IJsselhallen Zwolle.

Practical info

What is the theme of the festival which is held annually in Zwolle in winters?

The annual ice sculpture festival held in Zwolle every winter has a unique theme each year. This year’s theme is ‘Journey through Time', which takes visitors on an unforgettable adventure through different eras and cultures, showcasing maps, and artifacts from around the world. Sculptures depicting significant historical events and scenes from different times, including biblical times, are on display, making it an amazing experience for visitors of all ages. Show more

What are the reasons for visiting Zwolle during the time when the Ice Sculpture Festival is held?

The Ice Sculpture Festival in Zwolle takes place from late December to early January, coinciding with the Christmas season. The city is adorned with various Christmas displays and events that visitors can witness and enjoy. From dazzling light displays, Christmas markets, and fireworks to a festive atmosphere, everything adds up to a unique experience for tourists who want to enjoy the festive season in the Netherlands. Show more

What is the duration required by the artists for sculpting the ice during the festival?

The artists involved in the Zwolle Ice Sculpture Festival create spectacular pieces of art in roughly about three weeks of continuous work. The sculptors are specialists in their craft, which makes possible the carving of intricate and complex shapes that become awe-inspiring masterpieces. The festival attracts visitors every year who can observe the sculptors as they work in real-time, which is a unique opportunity to see these stunning Works in progress. Show more

What type of ice is used to shape the sculptures in the festival?

The Zwolle Ice Sculpture Festival uses specialized ice that is completely free of impurities for their creations. Distilled water is used to make this ice to ensure purity and clarity, which is vital to maintain the structure and integrity of the sculptures. The unique type of ice used by the sculptors produces sculptures that are mesmerizing and captivating, leaving visitors in awe of how incredibly beautiful ice can be crafted into masterpieces of art. Show more

Apart from the sculptures, what other events can tourists enjoy during the festival?

The Ice Sculpture Festival is not the only winter activity that visitors can enjoy in Zwolle. Ice skating on frozen lakes and outdoor ice rinks are popular attractions, along with horse-drawn carriage rides, live music, and various winter markets. The whole city is alive with the festive spirit during this period, making it an ideal winter vacation spot in the Netherlands with something for everyone to experience and enjoy. Show more

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