A bizarre new tourist attraction has opened its doors to the public in the Netherlands - a life-sized Noah's Ark! The project first began in 1992 when contractor Johan Huibers dreamed that waves from the ocean washed over the Netherlands during a storm. He then claimed that his dream was followed by even more signs, prompting him to build the Ark. The Ark is now open for visitors to take a first-hand glimpse at Huibers's amazing craftsmanship - read on for a look inside!
We first reported on Huibers’ Ark last year when the massive structure (it’s so big, it’s classed as a building not a boat!) was nearing completion. Now that the Ark is officially open to the public, more details have been revealed.
Firstly, while it does float, Huibers has stressed that the Ark is not designed to save people from a global flood. Instead, he built it as a symbol of his faith. Huibers built the Ark exactly to the specifications noted in the Bible resulting in a structure that is approximately 30 meters wide, 23 meters high and 135 meters long. That’s 50 cubits wide, 30 cubits high and 300 cubits long according to the Bible.
Despite planning the Ark’s construction since 1992, construction on the full-size Ark only started in 2009. Huibers had previously built a smaller model with volunteers, but sold it to focus on the life-size version. Every detail was taken into account, in order to make the Ark as accurate as possible.
There were however deviations in Huibers contemporary construction; according to the Bible, Noah used “gopher wood” when he built the Ark, but this has been disputed so the hull was built by welding the metal hulls of several old barges together and then using Scandinavian pine for the skin.
The Ark cost $1.6 million, stands four stories tall, is as long as a football field and even comes complete with animals—although they are not real. However no expense has been spared in that department either, with Huiber’s wife Shamlian claiming it cost $11,000 for just one elephant!
There were rumors that the Ark could have been sailed to London in time for the Olympics, though this turned out not to be the case. Deborah Venema-Huibers, manager of the Ark, said that they had to abandon plans to sail the ark to the London Olympics, after they were asked to make the wooden boat safer for visitors.
“We would like to carry three thousand people on the boat (so) you can’t say: ‘We’ll leave it like that’. You have (to clear) everything with the fire department, as it is all wood. It took such a long time that we had to skip the Olympics,” she said.
The Ark is located at Dordrecht and is now open to the public!
via 3 News
Images: Arc of Noah