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Dutchman Rebuilds Noah's Ark to Spread His Faith

He dreamed about it for fourteen years and when he finally started it took Dutch contractor Johan Huibers only 16 months to rebuild Noah's Ark.

Huibers, a jovial man with a smile for everyone, said he got the idea to build his ark after having a dream that the Netherlands was flooded.

"It was a feeling that compelled me to build it and I like to talk about God and tell the story," Huibers told AFP on his finished ark.

He stressed, he does not believe the Netherlands will flood but believes the dream was God's way of telling him to build an ark to spread his faith.

"I want to show people what the ark looked like to make the story more tangible. When people don't believe in God see the ark, they have many questions. It is wonderful to talk to these people," he said.

At 70 metres (231 feet) long the ship is only half the length of the ark described in the Bible. Taking into account the adjusted height and width, Huibers says the biblical ark would have been 14 times bigger, in terms of volume, than his replica.

"When I went inside I thought to myself: that's the way it happened, two and two they went into the ark," said visitor Diny Lagerweij, quoting the Bible.

Inside the enormous shipped is filled with wooden animals -- elephants, giraffes, apes -- to give people an idea of what it would have been like, and visitors were in awe.

"The Bible story starts to become alive for you. I actually said 'thank you Lord' when I was inside," said 59-year-old Marga Weil, who came to see the ark with her son.

Not everyone is convinced. Tannes, a 51-year-old doctor's assistant, who described herself as Christian, said she found it hard to believe the Bible story of Noah.

"It is difficult to imagine that all the animals that lived on the Earth were able to stay in this kind of space, that they lived here and were cared for, that they had enough
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