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City news, 09.02.2006 19:14

St. Petersburg opens a palace made of ice

Ice palace A palace made entirely of ice has been built in the central square of St. Petersburg, Russia`s second largest city.

The replica of an ice palace built in 1740 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Empress Anna Ioannovna`s reign and Russia`s victory over Turkey, the structure is almost 20 feet high and covers an area of nearly 1,100 square feet, RIA Novosti reported Thursday.

The complex includes the actual palace, an ice bath, ice hills shaped like elephants and other figures. The palace is furnished with

tables, chairs, beds, mirrors and dishes – all made of ice.

The palace was constructed to attract tourists to St. Petersburg during the winter. Ice Studio, the company that built it, used more than

3 tons of ice blocks from nearby lakes.

The opening ceremony Wednesday attracted about 300 people despite the temperature of minus 20 Celsius, or minus 4 Fahrenheit.

Newlywed couples have been invited to visit the ice palace on St. Valentine`s Day, and diverse entertainment and historical performances are scheduled for every day until March 10, when the ice palace will be dismantled.

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(c) 2000