Dutchman Johan Huibers has built a working replica of Noah’s Ark as a testament to his faith in the literal truth of the Bible and the Flood. The people of Schagen, 45 km north of Amsterdam, are amazed at the huge wooden ship nearing completion in the town’s small harbour.
The ark is about half the size of Noah’s original boat. The reduced dimensions allow the ship to pass narrowly under every bridge and through every sluice along its planned sailing route. It will pass through the interior waters of the Netherlands to the country’s towns and cities. Mr Huibers intends to sail in September and display the ark for evangelistic use, and as a museum and children’s zoo.
He will stock it with an array of farmyard animals such as cows, horses, sheep, poultry and rabbits. There will be an exhibition on more exotic creatures and a 50-seat theatre showing a segment of the Disney film Fantasia retelling the story of Noah’s Ark.
‘This will speak very much to children, because it will give them something tangible to see that Noah’s Ark really existed,’ Huibers says. ‘They’ll hear the creak of the wood, and smell the smell of the dung’.
Huibers conceived the plan for over a decade before he bought and milled more than 1200 logs needed for the project. His teenage son and several builder friends have helped when they can. But most of the work was up to Huibers.
An energetic 47-year-old contractor, Huibers acknowledged admiration for the original craftsman: ‘And just think; Noah did it alone and without modern tools. It’s unimaginable, no?’ he said.