Cool castles: Ice palaces of the Winter Carnival

The Winter Carnival ice palace of 1886.
The first Winter Carnival ice palace was built in 1886 at Central Park between Cedar and Minnesota streets (now a parking ramp for the State Capitol). It was illuminated at night with electric lights using color globes. It took three weeks and 200 men to build the 106-foot-tall palace.
Courtesy Bob Olsen

Updated: Feb. 1, 2016 | Posted: Jan. 22, 2015

If the cold doesn't bother you anyway, there's a frozen attraction at this year's Winter Carnival that's fit for an ice queen — or king.

It's a mini ice palace at Rice Park in St. Paul, featuring about 400 blocks of manufactured ice from Shakopee. There's a $1 entry fee to go inside. Check the schedule here.

A bona fide ice palace — eight stories tall — is expected to return in 2018, the first since 2004, to coincide with the Super Bowl.

Here's a look at some of the previous ice palaces of the winter carnival. To date, the Winter Carnival has built 36 ice palaces.

Can't get enough? Check out the ice castle in Eden Prairie, open through March 5, weather permitting. Replicas built to scale of all Winter Carnival ice palaces will also be on display inside the Landmark Center.

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