Working Replica of Noah's Ark Opens
SCHAGEN, Netherlands -
The massive central door in the side of Noah's Ark
was thrown open Saturday
- you could say it was the first time in 4,000 years - drawing a crowd
of curious pilgrims and townsfolk to behold the wonder.
Of course, it's only a replica of the biblical Ark, built by Dutch Creationist Johan Huibers as a testament to his faith in the literal truth of the Bible.
Reckoning by the old biblical measurements, Johan's fully functional ark
is 150 cubits long, 30 cubits high and 20 cubits wide. That's two-thirds
the length of a football field and as high as a three-story house.
Life-size models of giraffes, elephants, lions, crocodiles, zebras,
bison and other animals greet visitors as they arrive in the main hold.
'The design is by my wife, Bianca,' Huibers said. 'She didn't really
want me to do this at all, but she said "if you're going to build it anyway,
it should look like this."'
A contractor by trade, Huibers built the ark of cedar and pine ---
Biblical Scholars debate exactly what the wood used by Noah would have been.
Huibers did the work mostly with his own hands, using modern tools
with occasional help from his son Roy. Construction began in May 2005.
On the uncovered top deck - not quite ready in time for the opening
- will come a petting zoo, with baby lambs and chickens, and goats, and one camel. Visitors on the first day were stunned.
'It's past comprehension,' said Mary Louise Starosciak, who happened
to be bicycling by with her husband while on vacation when they saw
the ark looming over the local landscape.
'I knew the story of Noah, but I had no idea the boat would have been so big.
In fact, Noah's Ark as described in the Bible was five times larger
Than Johan's Ark.
But that still leaves enough space near the keel for a 50-seat film
theater, where kids can watch the segment of the
Disney film 'Fantasia' that tells the story of Noah.
Another exhibit shows water cascading down on a model of the Ark.
Exhibits on the third level show ancient tools and old-fashioned
barrels, exotic stuffed animals, and a wax model of an
exhausted Noah reclining on a bed in the forecastle.
Genesis records that Noah kept seven pairs of most domesticated animals and
one breeding pair of all other creatures, plus his wife, three sons and
three daughters-in-law together on the boat for almost a year
while the world was deluged.
Perhaps it was only logical that the replica project would be the
brainchild of a Dutchman: fear of floods are ingrained in the country's collective
consciousness by its water-drenched history.
Lois Poppema, visiting from California, said she thought the Netherlands
Was exactly the right place for an ark.
Under sunny clear skies Saturday, Huibers said he wasn't worried about
another biblical flood, since according to Genesis, the rainbow is the
sign of God's promise never to flood the world again.
Huibers said he hopes the project will renew interest in Christianity in
the Netherlands, where churchgoing has fallen dramatically in the past
50 years. He also plans for the Ark to visit major cities in Belgium and Germany.
9 - that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 - For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Romans 10:9-10 ( NKJV )
The LORD bless thee and keep thee. The LORD make His face shine upon thee and be gracious unto thee. The LORD lift up His countenance upon thee and give thee peace.