Photo Paulina Holmgren

Ice from ICEHOTEL takes place at this year’s Nobel Banquet

When the yearly Nobel Banquet is held, Sunday, December 10, an unusual guest is represented – parts of Sweden’s northernmost and cleanest river, Torne River, in its frozen state. One ton of ice has been harvested from Torne River, sculpted and transported from Jukkasjärvi in northern Sweden to decorate the Blue Hall in Stockholm during the Nobel Banquet.

Music, food and flower arrangements merge at the Nobel Banquet this year as an homage to the Arctic landscape, and during the evening, the guests will experience the natural crystal clear Arctic ice from Torne River slowly melt down up close.

– It is an honor that a part of the untouched nature of northern Sweden is showcased on this year’s Nobel Banquet. Just like most things in life, the ice is ephemeral, it surrounds us during the long winters in Jukkasjärvi, but suddenly the days are getting longer and the ice begins to melt. Parts of the art at ICEHOTEL melt back into the river and the circle is complete, says Arne Bergh, Creative Director at ICEHOTEL.

The beauty of the natural ice 

Torne River is the largest of Sweden’s four national rivers and is rare: one of the last untouched rivers in Europe. A wild river so clean you can drink the water from it – and create a completely new ICEHOTEL from it, each year.

It’s Torne River that provides ICEHOTEL with its ice in the winter – this year 500 tons of ice are used to build the seasonal part of ICEHOTEL, which opens December 15. 500 tons of ice is equivalent to the amount of water passing by ICEHOTEL each second during the summer months.

The ice is harvested from Torne River in March every year when it has grown the thickest. Months are devoted to maintaining the “ice field”, keeping it clear of snow so the ice gets the best conditions possible for growth.

In Jukkasjärvi, people think that the natural Arctic ice is worth the effort.

– The unique story of each individual ice block is an inspiration to us and is something that can never be found in artificial ice. Furthermore, it is a necessity to create unique art year after year,” says Arne Bergh.

The story of Torne River

The ice from Torne River has represented Sweden and ICEHOTEL all over the world, from Chanel’s catwalk in Paris and Milano Design Week to various ice bars across the world. Read more about the possibilities to create events and ice products through ICEHOTEL here.

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ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi opened in 1989 and is beside a hotel also an art exhibition with ever-changing original art made of ice and snow. ICEHOTEL is created in a new guise every winter, completely made from natural ice from Torne River, one of Sweden’s national rivers and last untouched waters. When the winter season’s hotel made from ice and snow has melted back into the river in the spring, a part of the hotel still stands, a place where visitors can experience the ice and snow year-round.


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