“I want to make people question that so that they go looking for answers, [and ultimately find salvation through God and eternal life].”
Dutch builder Johan Huibers, talking about the completion of his 20-year project to build a full-scale, functioning model of Noah’s Ark.
Huibers, a Christian, used Genesis 6-9 as his inspiration, following the instructions God gives Noah down to the last cubit. Translating to modern measurements, Huibers came up with a vessel that works is 427 feet long, 95 feet across and 75 feet high. In the Biblical story, God orders Noah to build a boat big enough to save two of every animal, as well as his family, when he covers the Earth with an enormous flood.
Johan’s Ark towers across the flat Dutch landscape and is easily visible from a nearby highway where it lies moored in the city of Dordrecht, just south of Rotterdam. It features life-sized displays of animals – including posed sculptures of tigers, giraffe, an elephant and bison. There are also some live animals aboard, including parakeets, pheasants, peacocks and rabbits. The ship, which has permission to receive up to 3,000 visitors a day, also has two cinemas for special events, plus a restaurant.
Visitor, Martin Konijn, said he was impressed with the level of detail. “You might know the story of Noah, okay, but if you see this you begin to get an idea of how it would actually have worked in practice.”
Huibers says he’s considering where to take the floating attraction next, including European ports or even across the Atlantic – though the latter would require transport aboard an even bigger ship.
Watch a tour from Hillianne Zondervan: