Keeping hundreds of tons of ice at minus-10 degrees Celsius was no easy feat in the early spring in Jerusalem, but if you ask the Israelis and tourists who came to the city’s first-ever Ice Festival in March and April, it was well worth the work.

“It’s amazing and incredible,” says one tourist we spoke with, marveling at life-size giraffes made entirely of frozen water.

Scenes from Noah’s Ark, “The Wizard of Oz” and other children’s books, as well as structures such as an ice windmill and the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City, were the handiwork of 31 Chinese ice sculptors, says producer Sharon Shalev.