10 December 2009
The Snow Queen of Danish author Hans Christian Andersen lived in a palace formed of snow and wind near the North Pole. She was the queen of snowflakes or "snow bees", traveling through the world wearing a clock of white bringing winter. Her throne sat on a lake of cracked ice that she called "The Mirror of Understanding". The Aurora Borealis lit her hundred glittering rooms. She is depicted in art, dance, film, and literature. Perhaps the queen would have enjoyed the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden. The ephemeral structure lasts from December through April and is constructed of snow and ice blocks. Ice Palaces go back to18th century Russia when Empress Anna ordered an ice castle built in St. Petersburg. The dazzling building was outfitted with furniture made of ice and decorated with ice sculptures.