Kari Kola’s Snowhenge: Until it Melts!


A full-sized Stonehenge sculpted from snow—one of those things we didn’t know we needed until we saw it! [See a short but wonderful video of the sculpture here] Look at the shapes of the trilithons and the arrangement of the “stones” of this Snowhenge in Finland. Time and thought have been taken to make it seem like the real one. I would love to experience what it’s like to walk among them!

This remarkable installation arose from the brilliant mind of Finnish light artist Kari Kola. On his Facebook page he writes:

I wanted to create something iconic to these harsh times and i was thinking the strongest places i’ve been… then everything was clear! Let’s build Stonehenge on 1:1 scale from snow! Project is called Snowhenge! It’s been a privilege to work with ice-sculpting masters Mr. Anssi Kuosa and Mr. Lkhagvadorj “George” Dorjsuren with this project. Also this wouldn’t be possible without creative construction consultant Mr. Brendan Savage from Ireland to realize the exact scale and positions. Also it’s a privilege to be supported from Stonehenge, thank you Jessica Trethovan and Jennifer Davies! This is located in my gardens at my hometown Joensuu before it melts.”

An article about the snowhenge in Finnish STT info says “The multiple Finnish master of ice sculpture Anssi Kuosa has been responsible for the sculpture together with the world champion of Mongolian ice sculpture Lkhagvadorj “George” Dorjsure. Kola asked Brendan Savage, an Irish creative construction technology consultant with more than 30 years of experience in large structures and scale, to join the project.

Kola’s snowhenge is also lit by the artist.

The article goes on to say, “Stonehenge has never before been built on a 1: 1 scale from snow. The stone circle is 32m in diameter and the largest stones are about 6m high. Construction of the project started on 27.12. and the project has been under construction by about 10 people. The complex is expected to be on view until mid-March in the Botanical Garden in Joensuu, owned by Kola.

That is, until it melts. Is it just us or does anyone else hope there is a lengthy timelapse of it melting when this is all over? Watching Stonehenge Melt seems like a good title for a video, or for something at least.

Part of Kola’s motivation for making the Stonehenge is to encourage the creative arts. On his Facebook post about the Stonehenge replica he also writes: “I think it’s very important to remember history and importance of culture and arts. In these crazy times with the pandemic its been very sad to see many governments to have very low support for the arts and artist. I hope that the project will inspire other artists to keep creating beautiful projects all over the planet.

What a wonderful project,! It’s the kind of thing that shows something we’ve reflected on from time to time. Doing Clonehenge allows us to see the best and most creative sides of people at a time when it’s easy to forget that humanity has a good side. Think of all the thought, planning, work, and certainly money that has gone into making this beautiful sculpture that has no practical use. It was built knowing that before long it will melt away. Instead of men at work, although they have certainly worked, it is in a sense men at play. For us this makes the list, with Jeremy Deller’s inflatable Stonehenge, of our favourite Stonehenge replicas of all time. Bravo to its creators and to the spirit of creativity and joy that it embodies!

People in this world with us are still brilliant, doing brilliant things! We can’t wait to see what you do. So until next time, friends, happy henging!

Late-breaking news: since posting this we found this wonderful 360° experience of Kola’s Snowhenge, which allows the user to view it as if from inside, even providing a choice of day or nighttime! https://360panorama.fi/360BotaniaTalvipuutarha/

Carleton College Welcomes Tiny Stonehenge-Building Alien Ice Druids!

Snowhenge at Carleton College, photo by Erin Wilson, used with permission

Snowhenge at Carleton College. photo by Erin Wilson, used with permission

We used to post snowhenges from time to time earlier in our blog history. See the first five links here to view some. But it has been a while since we’ve seen one, despite copious amounts of snow in North America this winter. What on earth do people do with snow these days if they’re not henging with it? Tweet it? Instagram it? Make snowCamerons and hit them with flamethrowers? Haha, not in North America, of course. Just kidding. That’s why the UK government disallowed snow and only permits rain now, exactly so things like that won’t happen!

But at any rate, we have a snowhenge for you today, as you can see. It was built by students at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota and photographed by Erin Wilson, 2014 and Agnes Tse, 2016, the years being the year they will graduate, although no future accomplishment will ever come close to the glory of having a photograph posted on Clonehenge, so they may as well quit and turn to a life of crime now. Good luck!

Carleton College's snowhenge. Photo by Agnes Tse, used with permission

Carleton College’s snowhenge. Photo by Agnes Tse, used with permission

The oddest thing about this snowhenge has to be the fact that no one involved is talking about the most important bit of data about any henge: who actually built it. Very suspicious, if you ask us. Lots of care taken to see that we credit the photos properly, no mention at all of the builder(s). We aren’t ruling out the possibility that tiny alien ice druids have arrived from outer space to attend college in Minnesota. Further reports on this are welcome!

As for the score, we award 6 druids for this effort. Only an outer sarsen circle, without the inner trilithon horseshoe or any bluestones or ditch and bank, or outlier stones; proportions wrong, etc. Regular readers know the drill. 6 is actually a pretty high score for this, but we’re going with it.

The fact is, we love seeing a snowhenge after a long hiatus, and anyway, we’re glad to have something other than toilets at the top of our blog!

We have a Mexican Stonehenge replica from a park that includes miniatures of world landmarks coming up at some point. For up-to-the-moment reports on Stonehenge replicas large and small, join the Clonehenge Facebook group or follow Clonehenge on Twitter. Occasional Stonehenge news shows up there, too.

Our thanks to Pete Glastonbury and someone we know only as Liz! And, yes, until next time, we wish all of our friends some very happy henging!

21 December, 2012: Apocalypse No!

Poster from Allan Sturm's LoveSmack Studios

Poster from Allan Sturm’s LoveSmack Studios

Greetings, henge lovers everywhere, and a happy solstice to you all from your friends at the Clonehenge blog!

Yes, you read the poster right. It says, “Dance inside a giant to-scale Stonehenge!” Yes, it says other things, too, but we are not the sexism police. We are the Stonehenge replica fandom. Focus! We have before us an exciting henging first–the Stonehenge dance floor!

This is a poster for an End of the World Party. (Apparently at the end of the world, fonts turn into zombies and parts of them begin to fall off. But once again, focus!) The end of the world. Ish. As of this writing, it is 21 December in Europe and Great Britain, but there have been no signs of the world ending. How Stonehenge ties in with the end of the world we’re not sure, either, but who are we to blow against the wind? Let’s see a few of the other pictures posted on the Clonehenge Facebook group recently as the apocalypse approacheth.

Citrus henge, courtesy of champion henger, Simon Burrow

Citrus henge, courtesy of champion henger, Simon Burrow

Friend and recent poster on this blog, Simon Burrow, posted this artistic citrus henge two days ago. Mr. Burrow is known for henging with unusual materials and with some frequency. If there were a thing like a henging problem, this henger might be said to have one. BUT there is not! So onward.

Photo posted by Bob Carlson, not sure who did the henging

Photo posted by Bob Carlson–not sure who did the henging

Ah, the days when Stonehenge was beset by eldritch creatures of the sea! Who wouldn’t want to make a replica of those epic times? Here’s one, a little short on lintels, but impressive nonetheless, posted by the mysterious Bob Carlson. We don’t know much about him, but anyone who henges AND speaks Welsh is all right by us!

A snowhenge, posted by Rufus T. Firefly

A snowhenge, posted by Rufus T. Firefly

And from R. T. Firefly of Henge Collective fame we have this snowhenge from another year. Don’t let that smile fool you–the creature shown here has teeth like a piranha and a temperament to match! If you see one at a henge, turn and run for your life. You have been warned!

miniature Stonehenge garden by Two Green Thumbs Gardens

miniature Stonehenge garden by Two Green Thumbs Gardens

And, yes, we have posted this last one before, but its popularity never dies–the miniature Stonehenge garden by Janit Calvo at Two Green Thumbs Miniature Garden Center. We include it again because she has furnished the curious with a blog post called How to Make a Miniature Stonehenge Garden for the End of the World. Timely! Briefly. Even better, she mentions us!!!

So there is our solstice/apocalypse post. Another year gone by, another turn of the sun, another special day for henges and hengers. It is also the last day for submissions to our henging contest. If you don’t know how to submit your entries, leave a comment on this post and we’ll answer.

Until next time friends, in this world or the next, happy henging!

Henge-Podge: Odds and Ends That Have Come Across Our Desk, Part Two

from designboom

First on this second edition of Henge Podge is not a Stonehenge replica but a clever henge-related item: Ikea-like instructions for the construction of Stonehenge. We couldn’t possibly say anything as clever as this is, so we’ll just post a second picture, advise you to click on the link because there is more to it, and move on. Yes, that is a druid you see there.

Next bit is something we’re keeping an eye on: a tentative plan for a Stonehenge replica, this time in Harwich. Reading the article here we are uncertain how much like Stonehenge this so-called “version of Stonehenge” will be. They have the stones, granite from a dismantled railroad bridge, and not much else so far. It remains to be seen if it happens at all and if it does, whether they bother to put on the all-important lintels. Maybe we should send them the Ikea instructions!

photo from a nut in a nutshell

And finally we present the only snowhenge we saw this winter, despite all of the snow that fell. We believe this was sent to us by the absolutely marvelous Matt Penny aka @salisbury_matt , sole proprietor and strong proponent of  Salisbury and Stonehenge.net. Thank you, sir. He and Señor Glastonbury are duking it out for top Friend of the Blog status, which entitles one to every cent of the money we have made up until now by doing the Clonehenge blog. The suspense is killing!

Meanwhile we can’t remember who sent us the other two items. Thank you, whoever you are. Comment on this post with the information and we’ll add it.

In the old days we might have done a whole post on the snowhenge, but that url blasted across it is too much, so this is what you get. We do, however, have a couple more  items recently submitted. A henge documenter’s work is never done! We’ll be back when we can see our way clear to doing something this constructive again.

Who knows when that will be, but until then, everybody, happy henging!

Joyous Yule!

Photo by Jill Warvel.

Season’s greetings. The blog has been inactive for a while, but we still exist floating somewhere out in the blogosphere, and we want to say hello and best wishes for a lovely solstice or holiday of your choice, and happiest of New Years to all who wander here!

We have featured this garden Stonehenge replica once or twice before on Clonehenge, but we recently received this photo in an email from lovely Friend of the Blog Jill Warvel and it was too good to pass up! Thank you, Jill and thank you to all of our lovely readers. Enjoy the rest of December and all of 2011. And think of us when you here of, create, or wake up naked next to a Stonehenge replica. Pictures are always welcome–of the replica we mean, of course!

Remember, you don’t have to be at Stonehenge to notice the path of the rays of the rising solstice sun. Mark your desk, mark your wall, mark your garden or trees. Honour the play of the sun with the land! Something real that enters all our virtual lives.

Snowhenge – Michigan Druids Unravel the Ancient Enigma

photo from the Snowhenge blog on Blogspot, used with permission

The ancient DRUIDS did it with stone, the Michigan DRUIDS do it with snow.” So says the Snowhenge blog from which this picture came. We distinguish it from the blog of friend-of-Clonehenge David Mantripp at snowhenge dot net, who took the photo that marked our first posted snowhenge.

We’ve done several snowhenges since then and we’ve seen many more that never made it to our pages, but most of them have been from  places exotic, mainly Antarctica (here’s another, and another), where the Stonehenge-building field is strong and mankind cannot resist its power, and the even more exotic Bristol! This time our outstanding snowhenge is/was in humble Michigan.

Yes, Michigan is once more pushing to reclaim its briefly-held title of the Stonehenge State, after having it cruelly ripped from its claws by Washington State which no doubt wanted a name that people wouldn’t mistake for the national capital. To recap in case you’ve forgotten, Michigan is home to the little replica at Raven Hill Discovery Center, the all-over-the-web famous Wally Wallington’s Forgotten Technology henge (did he ever finish that thing?), and best of all, the beautiful Nunica Henge, in our opinion one of the finest ever made. Bravo, Michigan!

But alas, while this snowhenge is large, it is not a permanent replica. “Standing 6.5 feet tall and 30 feet in diameter and consisting of nearly 1000 cubic feet of packed snow, Snowhenge’s 12 pillars and 12 lintels are perfectly aligned astronomical markers. Looking directly through the hole in the center of pillar 3 soon after sunset on Winter Solstice extraordinarily reveals an almost equilateral triangle formed by the visible planets Saturn (left), Mars (top), and Venus (right). . . . Outside the circle, three pairs of standing snowmen show where the sun rises and sets for each of the solstices and equinoxes.

Clearly a lot of thought and work have gone into this henge, and judging by the copy on the blog we would hazard a guess that a lot of intoxicating substance, liquid or of another variety, went into its builders! We have trouble believing that “Numerous consecutive years of record heat spikes in Perth, Australia are directly responsible for the extraordinary cold snaps at MacKay Jaycees Family Park which will amazingly keep Snowhenge frozen all year round.

But if that should happen, we would definitely add this henge to our list of large permanent replicas. It wouldn’t tie Michigan with Washington State, but it would certainly put them in striking distance! Permafrost would be a small price to pay for a chance at the title!

Score: Well, our snowhenge scores have been all over the place so far, but we’ll give this one a solid 8 druids. Why, if there’s no bluestone circle, no trilithon horseshoe, no ditch and bank?! It’s their prose, I’m afraid. Stupid silliness, as some have experienced, is the way to our hearts and our carefully-meted-out druids. And look at their closing line: “No matter the medium, the DRUIDS purpose remains the same – do it bigger, live it larger, play it harder, have some fun.” Hard to argue with that!

Our thanks to the illustrious Andy Burnham of the Megalithic Portal, who sent this our way, and to Peter Salisbury who gave the permissions. Happy henging!

Happy Camper Snowhenge, Antarctica Yet Again

hulabelly snowhenge

photo by Breana Simmons, aka hulabelly, with permission

Okay, so we’ve developed a fascination with the Antarctica/snowhenge connection. How can South America have no Stonehenge replicas and Antarctica have so many? Breana’s explanation of this one goes some way toward explaining it: “Snowhenge was built by a group of researchers during Happy Camper School in Antarctica. We have to pass this course if we want to work in the field. It’s a lot of fun, but you have to keep moving to stay warm. Hence, Snowhenge.

For those who have forgotten, here are the other Antarctica snowhenges we’ve posted: The Bushmills-Conjuring Snowhenge and Sky-Blu, plus the one we haven’t been able to post, here. And we will continue to post Antarctic snowhenges as they come down the line.

When we started we wanted to get a Stonehenge replica on Antarctica and one on the International Space Station. Turns out, the people on Antarctica were way ahead of us. Now we need one on the South American continent and one on the space station. Maybe we can get Stephen Colbert to help–he seems to have an in with NASA!

Score for this snowhenge: 6 druids. It lacks a little detail but we’ll cut people slack when they’re working in weather well below freezing!

Snowhenge the Third, Antarctica Again: Sky-Blu


photo by Rob Jarvis, with permission

Snowhenge time again.  As some of you know, we favour Antarctic snowhenges when we can get them. We did a post on one, mentioned another in the post Henges We Admire, and here’s a third, equally nice, also from the planet’s nether regions! (No Bushmills visible in this one, though ;-))

Rob Jarvis of Highland Guides says: “The snow clonehenge was made at ‘Sky-Blu’ at the southernmost end of the Antarctic Peninsula. Sky-Blu is a blue ice runway maintained by the British Antartcic Survey (BAS) . . . I was working there and we must have had a few spare moments! The snow structure was done by ‘Baz’, a BAS mechanic posted down to Sky-Blu for a work stint!

Commonly the builders of these things are very practical people, perhaps instinctively trying to balance their rational and intuitive sides by building (practical) a Stonehenge (symbolising the intuitive?). You have to be practical to live in Antarctica, but we suspect the land inspires awe!

Score: 7½ druids. Love that Antarctic action! Want some less exotic snowhenges? Here we go: One, two, three (don’t know what language that is, but we see the word druid in there!),  four, and (scroll down for these): five, six, and seven! Oh, and good olde Bristol. Who knows–maybe a snowhenge was first and Stonehenge is just a copy!

Snowhenge Bristol


photos by Phredd Groves, with permission

As some of you may know, Great Britain has been, um, blessed with snow this winter and although in many places they received no more than six inches, leave it to the resourceful English to fashion many kinds of snow creations from almost nothing! Including this snowhenge built by members of the University of Bristol’s Archaeology Department, including, in order as pictured above, Becca Pullen, Stuart Ladd, Sian Thomas, and Sean Clifford.

snowhenge-phredd-2As you can see here, although they did not make the henge circular, they did go to the trouble of making a bank, which is as good as a ditch and bank in this situation, we think. Wouldn’t want them digging up the university lawn!

Bravo for this crew of eager henge builders! Whatever important tasks they should have been performing, we’re glad we put them aside and turned to henging! May it become the fashion.

Score: 6½ druids for this brilliant henge made from gifts that fell from the heavens.

Snowhenge the First, Antarctica


photo by David Mantripp, with permission

And here it is, folks, as we roll into winter solstice, our first henge from Antarctica. Not the only one mind you–it seems that all that time down there without TV, stuck in a building with a small group of people in the midst of a monotonous landscape, possibly with an excess of banjo music (that last is just a hunch!) takes people to that unique point on the psychological landscape where building a henge seems either like the logical thing or the most hilarious thing to do. And there they are with all that snow to work with . . .

In this case, the man behind the camera even took the name Snowhenge and  has a website, recently refurbished, at snowhenge.net , which includes this delightful and touching bit of henge explication:

Snowhenge is, or was, an artefact built in January 1992 on the Filchner Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Its architects were myself, Jeff Ridley, and Peter Webb. It doesn’t have a deep and meaningful reason, but it goes to show that there isn’t much on TV in Antarctica. It was used in an experimental effort to invoke Druidic powers to refill a sadly depleted bottle of Bushmill’s best Irish Whiskey, but this ended in tragic failure.

We wish it had worked. What a coup for henge building! Maybe it was a design flaw. If any of you perfect the technique, please write. As for score, well, it’s a new continent for Clonehenge, quite far away. The thought that a wild penguin could wander through one of those trilithons gives us chills! Plus we’re a sucker for a good henge story  and, heck, we can see the Bushmills in the picture to illustrate it . . . so 8½ druids for the henge from where December days are long. Happy solstice, everyone!