Mitterfirmiansreut is a Bavarian village in the mountainous region on the Germany and Czech border. That means it was once on the border between West Germany and Czechoslovakia and thus part of the front line of the Cold War. The war has gone but the cold remains, just as old enmities have died away while traditions endure.
Over 100 years ago, the local bishop denied the villagers of Mitterfirmiansreut permission to build their own church, meaning they had to make the long walk to the next town, some eight kilometers away. It was an especially difficult journey when heavy snow hit the high country. And so in winter 1910, they took matters into their own hands and – using the one material not in short supply – built a church out of snow and ice. The village has recently revived the tradition.
Photo courtesy of Christian via Flickr.