Year 2002 53rd
Bavarian State Opera
Bavarian State Opera in Munich was built in 1818 by the MaximilianⅠ. The building was destroyed during the Second World War, but restored in 1963. In the 19th century, the first public performances of Wagner's masterpieces were given in this opera theater and the episode of the LudwigⅡ, who enjoyed Wagner's opera in private in the middle of the night, is well-known. It is one of the most celebrated opera theaters in Europe that can accommodate 2100 audiences.
Year 2003 54th
The British Museum
The British Museum is one of the greatest museums of the world. It was founded by Act of Parliament in 1753 and is now governed under the British Museum Act 1963. On 7 June 1753, King George II gave his assent to the British Museum Act for the purchase of the collections of Sir Hans Sloane and the Harleian collection of manuscripts. To this was added the library of Sir Robert Cotton, which had formed the nucleus of the Museum. It is said that there are millions of pieces in the museum collection by now. The year 2003 marks 250 years since the foundation of the museum, and the special events will be taking place for a week from the 7 June to celebrate this occasion.
The Palace Museum / The Imperial Palace (The Forbidden City)
The year 2003 marks the 25th anniversary of the conclusion of a peace treaty between Japan and China. It is also a significant year as the Chinese president Jiang Zemin is handing over the duties to the next president. For this occasion, we make the Palace Museum, also known as the Imperial Palace (The Forbidden City) out of snow. This magnificent ancient building well represents China which had been called 'Sleeping Lion' for over five centuries.
Year 2004 55th
Hannover City Hall (Germany)
Hannover is well known as a city of trade fairs. It gained its reputation when the world's fair was held there in the year 2000. In 1901, the construction of this Renaissance-style city hall began and it was finally completed in 1913. However it was destroyed repeatedly during the wars, thereafter, the present building was rebuilt as the fourth reconstruction. Now it stands as the symbol of the city and is also a very popular tourist attraction.
Here in HBC Athens Square, we reconstruct the Parthenon out of snow to celebrate the upcoming Athens 2004 Olympic Games. The Parthenon is a World Heritage site and is also known as the logo for UNESCO. The impressive relief carvings of the deities of Ancient Greece on the pediment certainly embody the finest quality in Ancient Greek art. We also reconstruct the statue of the goddess Athena, protector of Athens who once stood inside this magnificent temple. The Parthenon, the most perfect Doric temple, is one of the most influential buildings in the history of architecture.
Year 2005 56th
The Old City Hall, Leipzig
Leipzig is widely known as a city of culture: J.S. Bach lived and performed for a great deal of his life in this city. The Old City Hall, standing on the Market Square is considered one of Germany's finest Renaissance buildings. It was originally built in 1556 and was beautifully restored in 1990. This magnificent city hall now houses the Museum of City History. Behind the building, a statue of Goethe commemorates his years of study and romance in Leipzig.
The Parliament Building
In 1905, Norway gained independent statehood after dissolving the union with Sweden. By November in the same year, Japan acknowledged Norway's independence and established diplomatic relations with Norway.
Here in HBC Norway Square, we constructed the parliament building of Norway out of snow to celebrate the 100th anniversary of our diplomatic relations.
You may recognize some interesting Scandinavian features incorporated into the design of the building.
Year 2006 57th
There are some seven hundred stone monuments that remain scattered over the region of Siem Reap. These are the remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th to the 15th century.
The majestic temple of Angkor Wat is undoubtedly one of the greatest of its kind.
This ever-fascinating stone temple complex was inscribed on the World Heritage list in 1992. Here we made a large ice sculpture of Angkor Wat enhanced by illumination and music. The beauty of crystal-like ice sculpture will invite you to a wondrous space.
The Royal Exhibition Building
The Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton Gardens, designed by Joseph Reed, was completed for the great international exhibitions of 1880 and 1888 in Melbourne. This magnificent building with a dome combines elements from the Byzantine, Romanesque, Lombardic and Italian Renaissance styles. The Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens are rare survivors from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century series of international exhibitions, and were awarded World Heritage status in July 2004 as the first non-Aboriginal cultural site in Australia.
Flinders Street Station
2006 is the Australia-Japan ‘Year of Exchange’.
Here at the HBC Australia Square, we constructed a large snow sculpture of Flinders Street Station to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Basic Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between Australia and Japan, the 30th anniversary of the establishment of The Australia-Japan Foundation, and the 110th anniversary of our diplomatic relations since the establishment of the first Japanese Consulate in 1896. The grand Edwardian building of Flinders Street Station by Yarra River was completed in 1907. Today it is still a major Melbourne landmark and also a popular meeting place, particularly under the station's domed clock tower.
Year 2007 58th
The Imperial Palace・The Hall of Supreme Harmony
The imperial palace (also known as the Forbidden City) in Beijing was the Chinese imperial palace during the mid-Ming and the Qing Dynasties. One of the most historically important buildings within the palace is the Hall of Supreme Harmony located at its central axis. The original hall was built in 1406, on the site where a part of the imperial city during the Yuan Dynasty once existed, by the Yongle Emperor who became known as Chengzu of Ming Dynasty soon after he moved the capital from Nanjing to Beijing. The imperial palace served as the seat of the Ming Dynasty from 1421 until 1644, when a peasant revolt invaded and razed it. The following Qing Dynasty reconstructed the palace and also occupied it. In 1912, after the fall of the Qing Dynasty, the imperial palace ceased being the political center of China with the abdication of Puyi, the last Emperor of China. Under an agreement signed between the Qing imperial house and the new Republic of China government, Puyi was, however, allowed to live within the walls of the Forbidden City. Puyi stayed in the Forbidden City until 1924, when Feng Yuxiang took control of Beijing in a coup. Denouncing the previous agreement with the Qing imperial house, Feng expelled Puyi. Soon after, the Palace Museum was established in the Forbidden City on October 10th in 1925.
Chakri Maha Prasat Grand Palace
Construction of the Royal Grand Palace in Thailand began in 1782 and it was completed in time for the coronation of Rama I. This palace has an area of 218,000 sq. meters, and is surrounded by the four walls whose length is 1,900 meters. Within the walls, the government offices and the temple of the Emerald Buddha are situated along with the royal residences. The center of the palace is dominated by Chakri Maha Prasat hall. This hall was constructed by King Chulalongkorn the Great (also known as Rama V) to commemorate the centenary of the Chakri Dynasty and it was completed in 1882. Today the hall functions as a reception hall. Chakri Maha Prasat hall consists of an audience hall situated in the center and the other two halls on both sides. The audience hall, which contains the throne, has been the venue for the presentation of letter of credence to each ambassador by the king or for banquets for national guests. The walls on both sides of the room are decorated with the paintings depicting the diplomatic receptions of the past.
Year 2008 59th
Relics of Egypt
Here in the center, Behold! The Great Pyramid of Giza - the largest man-made structure in the history of ancient Egypt which is commonly believed to have been built as a tomb for King Khufu. Originally, the height of the pyramid was thought to be about 147 meters, and the base was almost 230 meters on a side, with a slope angle of approximately 51°50’. On the left, you see the Great Sphinx of Giza. Carved out of the surrounding limestone bedrock, the Great Sphinx is the largest single-stone statue in the world whose face is believed to be the head of King Khafra. Finally, a pair of the sitting statues of Ramesses II is on the right side. The original 20 meters-high statues of Ramesses II exist as a set of four statues, and can be seen at the Great Temple at Abu Simbel whose height is 32 meters and width is 38 meters.
Year 2009 60th
‘Sungnyemun’, Gate of Exalted Ceremonies Also known as ‘Namdaemun’, Great Southern Gate
Sungnyemun was built in 1398 as the southern gate of the original walls surrounding Hanyang (present day Seoul) during the Joseon Dynasty. The gate was originally used to control access to the capital city. The gate became widely known as Namdaemun, ‘Great Southern Gate’. It was damaged in 1950, but restored to its original state afterwards. The gate was designated ‘National Treasure of South Korea; No.1’ in 1962.
Year 2010 61st
Iolani Palace, situated in the capitol district of downtown Honolulu in the U.S. state of Hawaii, is the only royal palace in the United States. This magnificent palace was built by order of King Kalākaua and completed in 1882. It had electricity even before the Buckingham Palace in the U.K. and served as the official residence of the Hawaiian monarch until Queen Liliuokalani was overthrown in 1893. Today, the palace is opened to the public as a museum where the visitors can join various tours to see the rooms, historical documents and various belongings connected to Hawaiian royalty.
The Frauenkirche (The Church of Our Lady)
The Frauenkirche (the Church of Our Lady) was completed in 1743 and for more than 200 years, its distinctive bell-shaped dome, called ‘Stone Bell’ stood over the skyline of old Dresden, dominating the city. The church was destroyed in 1945 during the World War II and after the war the remnants were officially declared a ‘memorial against war’. However, a campaign to rebuild the church began and donations were gathered from all over the world. In 2005, the church was finally reconstructed by using original materials. Today, the Frauenkirche stands as a landmark symbol of reconciliation between former warring enemies.
The Royal Palace of Baekje
Baekje was a kingdom located in southwest Korea. It was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, together with Goguryeo and Silla. The history of Baekje can be divided into three periods according to the location of its capital: Hanseong Period (BC18~457); Ungjin Period (457~538); and Sabi Period (538~660). Baekje developed a splendid culture throughout some 700 years of its history, but the flowering of the Baekje culture was truly witnessed during the Sabi period. However, the coalition troops of Silla and Tang of China attacked Baekje in 660. Consequently, the capital Sabi (present-day Buyeo Country) fell and the royal palace of Baekje was destroyed by fire.
In recent years, a thorough research was carried out to reconstruct the royal palace in the Baekje History Reproduction Complex in Buyeo Country to coincide with ‘The 2010 Great Baekje World Festival’ in Chungcheongnam-do (a province in the west of South Korea). The complex is still under construction, but the royal palace has already been completed. The royal palace contains the ‘Inner Palace’ originally used for official functions, covers 330 square meters and 18 meters in height. This magnificent building with 25 meters wide roof embodies the artistry of Baekje people so well. We did an on-site research of this inner palace to make our large snow sculpture entitled ‘The Royal Palace of Baekje’.
On the right, you can also see a small snow sculpture of ‘Gilt-bronze Incense Burner of Baekje’. This incense burner with a phoenix-shaped knob was excavated from an ancient temple site at Neungsan-ri, Buyeo County in 1993. It measures 64 centimeters in height and 19 centimeters in diameter. It is undoubtedly one of the finest examples of Korean art and widely regarded as a world cultural heritage.
We would like to express our gratitude to Chungcheongnam-do, South Korea, Hokkaido TV, and to the regiments of Ground Self Defense Force for their support and cooperation.
Year 2011 62nd
The City of Daejeon (the Republic of Korea)
Daejeon is the fifth largest city in the Republic of Korea. The city features a technology cluster known as Daedeok Innopolis in Yuseong-gu district. Daedeok Innopolis, formerly known as Daedeok Science Town was established in 1973 and ever since, the area has been devoted to a wide range of science research projects including nuclear engineering, aerospace design, and biotechnology. The Innopolis accommodates more than 100 research institutes including: Electronic and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI); Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST); government-invested corporate research institutes, corporate research centers and venture companies.
Daejeon gained a status as a city of science and technology after successfully hosting an international exposition (Expo '93) in 1993. On October 22, 2010, Daejeon became the fifth sister city to Sapporo after confirming the mutual commitment for a permanent partnership by citizen-led exchanges in various fields.
The Temple of Heaven
~ The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests
Year 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of normalization of diplomatic relations between the People's Republic of China and Japan. To cerebrate this occasion, we are presenting a large snow sculpture entitled 'The Temple of Heaven ~ The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests'. The Temple of Heaven is a complex of buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing. The complex was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest. The Temple grounds cover 273 hectares of parkland and comprise three main groups of constructions. The Temple of Heaven was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998.
The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, one of the main constructions of The Temple of Heaven, is a magnificent triple-gabled circular building, approximately 24 metres in diameter and 38 metres tall, built on three levels of marble stone base with balustrades, where the Emperor held ceremonies to pray for good harvests. The balustrades on each level are carved in different relief: On the upper level, relief of dragon; on the middle level, relief of Chinese phoenix; on the lower level, relief of clouds. Each one symbolizes the Emperor, the Empress, and the auspicious. On the top gable, a globus cruciger is placed in the center to symbolize the authority of the Emperor. Inside the hall, the Emperor personally prayed to Heaven for good harvests and peace for the nation. The building is completely wooden, and remarkably not a single nail was used in its construction. The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests was initially constructed in 1420, but destroyed by fire (caused by a thunderbolt) in 1889. The present hall was rebuilt afterwards. Size of the snow sculpture is half of the actual size of the hall.