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Johan’s Ark: The Dutch replica of Noah’s Ark

J-P Mauro - published on 06/20/21

This faithful replica of the most famous biblical vessel was the passion project of just one man.

This faithful replica of Noah’s Ark, featured above, is the passion project of just one man. Dutch artist Johan Huibers spent nearly 20 years planning and building this remarkable vessel. This massive floating monument to the biblical narrative of the Genesis flood is actually a mobile museum. 

Named the Ark of Noah, the ark was built with the biblical measurements in mind. The ship was measured out in cubits with a volume of wood that is equivalent to 12,000 trees. In modern terms, it measures 119 metres (390 ft) long, 30 metres (98 ft) wide, and 23 metres (75 ft) high. 

Completed in 2012, the Ark of Noah is technically not seaworthy, but it can be moved from port to port by tugboats. While the dimensions are of biblical proportions, the wood was much harder to copy. The Bible notes that Noah used “gopher wood”; this modern replica was built out of American cedar and pine.According to Wikipedia, the construction took 4 years and around 4 million euros to complete. 

What’s inside

The ark features a fantastic lineup of animal statues that represent the animals contained in the biblical ark. Their ranks are bolstered by a small petting zoo featuring mostly birds, bunnies, and other small animals. The ark also has a full restaurant and two cinemas. Tours of the ark are filled with educational content to instruct visitors on the biblical relevance of the ark. 

It was Huibers’ dream to sail the ship to other countries, such as Israel, England, the U.S. and even areas of South America. These plans have all been dashed, however, by safety concerns. 

This is not the first ark that Johan has constructed. Prior to building this full-scale replica, he took on a half-sized ark. This ark was made smaller in order to navigate Dutch canals. The half-sized ark was sold to artist Sir Aad Peters, who recently ran it afoul of maritime law. The vessel was found to be less than seaworthy and has been subject to numerous fines. 

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