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Bavarians open church made of snow

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Visitors pass by a blue-lit church built of snow during its opening in Mitterfirmiansreut, Germany (AP)

Visitors pass by a blue-lit church built of snow during its opening in Mitterfirmiansreut, Germany (AP)

Visitors pass by a blue-lit church built of snow during its opening in Mitterfirmiansreut, Germany (AP)

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 metres in length and boasts a tower. It is made up of 1,400 cubic metres of snow.

The structure was bathed in blue light when it opened on Wednesday with a blessing from Dean Kajetan Steinbeisser.

But when the ancestors of today's villagers built the first snow church in 1911, they were not thinking just of architectural achievement.

Mr 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."

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