A church built entirely of ice and snow has opened in Bavaria _ a century after villagers first built a snow church in an act of protest.
The church at Mitterfirmiansreut, near the Czech border, is more than 20 meters (65 feet) in length and boasts a tower. It's made up of some 1,400 cubic meters (49,000 cubic feet) of snow.
The structure was bathed in blue light as it opened Wednesday evening with a blessing from Dean Kajetan Steinbeisser.
But when the ancestors of today's villagers built the first snow church in 1911, they weren't thinking just of architectural achievement.
Steinbeisser says: "It was meant as an act of provocation _ believers from the village got together and built a snow church because they didn't have a church here."