Aircraft carrier ice model on display in Kirovsk snow village
Despite coronavirus pandemic, the Snow village Kirovsk is crowded with people this winter. Although not many Asian tourist, but travel restrictions with other countries triggers Russian domestic tourism to go north for the New Year and Orthodox Christmas holiday this week.
It started small with a few snow sculptures, but already in 2012, the location outside the mining and ski resort town on the foot of the Khibiny Mountains was recognized as the largest snow park in Russia.
The area covers 2500 suare meters and has some 25 snow hall-rooms with ice-sculptures and snow-reliefs. Outside are spectacular snow sculptures, mostly with a northern theme. When clear skies, the Northern Lights are a common sight this time of the year.
Every winter has different themes and wall carvings. This year, the Northern Fleet is made honor of in one part of the snow labyrinth. “Amiral Kuznetsov” is Russia’s only aircraft carrier, sailing for the Northern Fleet, but mostly at port in Murmansk. The ship is the largest in the Russian Navy and has over the last few years been under repair and upgrade.
The snow carvings display tow nuclear-powered submarines, the nuclear-powered battle cruiser “Pyotr Velikiy” and a Slava-class guided missle cruiser.
Kirovsk Snow village is not first to display an aircraft carrier in ice.
In 2018, the Shenyang International Snow Sculpture Art Expo in Shenyang built a much larger model of the Chinese “Liaoning”. That aircraft carrier was originally laid down in 1985 for the Soviet navy under the name “Riga” but construction was halted with the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The stripped hulk was sold to China by Ukraine in 1998 and rebuilt for the People’s Liberation Army Navy.
This winter, an even larger version of the “Liaoning” is built in snow. Currently on display in the Stalin Park in Harbin, not far from China’s northern boarder to Russia, the 50 meter long and 10 meter wide snow-built ship is one of several Chinese warships created for the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival.