16 February 2014

#SundayTraveler: Climbing Aboard Noah's Ark

Since Mark is away this weekend, I wanted to make sure Little Man and I did something special together so that we really enjoyed the weekend. I initially intended to find a new museum and use our museumkaart, but I accidentally found another option. I say "accidentally" because I quite literally picked a city at random and did a Google search for museums and found the Ark van Noach (Noah's Ark) in Dordrecht. I was intrigued by the idea of visiting Noah's ark, so yesterday we made a trip over to Dordrecht to check it out.



Follow the animal prints into the ark


Now, this is not actually Noah's ark, but there's still a neat story as to how this massive boat ended up in Dordrecht. Johan Huibers, a contractor in the Netherlands, was inspired to share his faith by creating a replica of Noah's ark and making it available to anyone to visit. The ark was to be an entertaining place to visit but also a way to provide Christian teachings to visitors. Originally, a smaller ark that was scaled down to fit the canals of the Netherlands was built and then traveled to different cities. After 3.5 years, the ark team was able to construct and permanently moor a full-sized replica (30 meters wide, 23 meters high, and 135 meters long), based in Dordrecht since 2012.

This is one big ark!


The Ark van Noach gives visitors the Biblical account of the great flood and describes what life would have been like on the ark. Visitors can tour nearly the entire ark, see real animals (including goats, rabbits, and kangaroos) and life sized models of other animals (since it's a bad idea to keep real rhinos and leopards walking around enclosed areas filled with people), and view educational films. And throughout the ark are large paintings and images depicting the story of Noah and Biblical verses from the book of Genesis.

A replica workbench as part of the description of Noah's building process

Part of a "Would Noah have brought this?" game. Each compartment has an
item (fake fruits/veggies, fly swatter, Coca Cola bottle) and kids guess if it
would have been taken onto the ark.

Noah with the returned dove. The mannequins were a bit
strange looking, but were a small part of the ark.

A real live and hungry goat.

"Watch out! We can bite" - I think this sign was actually meant for the live
kangaroos, but looked hilarious next to the fake emus.

Exploring the ark.

The final image from Peter Spier's picture book, Noah's Ark

The Ark van Noach is a great outing for the whole family (we spent a good 2.5 hours walking around the ark) and has and interesting story of it's "landing" in Dordrecht. It's certainly worth a look.



As of February 2014, the Ark van Noach is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 to 18:00 (but check the website for any special or holiday schedules) and is easily accessible from the Dordrecht train station by bus. You can check current admissions prices here. Throughout the ark, information is posted in Dutch, English, and German.

Today's post is part of the Sunday Traveler link up hosted by Chasing the Donkey and others. Please check out this week's other contributors!

25 comments:

  1. Awesome, I will have to put this on our list! We are neighbors, Expats in Germany so we come to the Nederlands quite a bit! Thank you for sharing Great and fun story! Have a super Sunday! Stacey @BasketsLife

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  2. What an amazing place... We too are "neighbours" kind of! I shall mark this down as something to see should we happen to be in your part of the world! :D

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  3. Glad you came to Dordrecht! I've been living here for three years but haven't gone to the Ark yet... one day. You had some nice weather yesterday too :)

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  4. Fascinating post! I hadn't heard of this opportunity before. Hope to get there one day! (And thanks for the image from Peter Spier's book - it brought back a lot of good memories of sharing it with my girls when they were little!)

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  5. we could actually do with that arc over here in the uk right now...

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  6. Thanks for stopping by, Stacey! It was quite fun, and if you're already in the area it's a fun trip!

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  7. Definitely make the stop if you're in the area - it's a lot of fun!

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  8. It was good weather yesterday, aside from the wind =) It wasn't so nice to bike in, but it wasn't noticeable inside the ark!

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  9. You guys have been getting hit pretty badly - hope you're able to stay safe!

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  10. check this out for damage done on Friday night... http://wp.me/p45WO1-5x

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  11. Thanks for stopping by! It's a favorite book of ours, too, so we were pretty happy to find it. The Ark van Noach also shows a film that uses Spier's illustrations which was pretty neat, too.

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  12. That's really something else. And it always amazes me that there are still bombs that will be found after things like this.

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  13. This is pretty cool and something great to do with kids! Thanks for linking up to the #SundayTraveler!

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  14. Such a cool little museum! I love that you found it by a random search. Spontaneous adventures are the best.

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  15. Ohhh what an awesome museum! Ohhh and I just love little man's blue outfit with matching shoes :)

    Thanks for linking up with us to #SundayTraveler

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  16. This is such an cute and interesting museum. I like that the museum provides interactive activities, since it is a great way to learn.

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  17. They also provide some very basic "animal costumes" that kids can wear while they tour the ark. My Little Man didn't want one, but lots of kids were having fun with them!

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  18. Aw, thanks =) I made his hat and cowl to match his coat, the shoes were just dumb luck. He dresses himself pretty well these days =)

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  19. This is awesome! My boys would love it. On the list for our next trip to the Netherlands!

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  20. This looks like a fascinating place. I do agree that the warning sign next to the fake emus is quite funny indeed. I also pictured Noah as being older (and with a beard). All in all, I think my kids would enjoy visiting the ark.

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  21. Oh, it's definitely worth stopping by! All the kids there were having a blast!

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  22. I like finding the absurd like that. =)
    Kids really seem to have a lot of fun there, it's worth checking out if you're in the area.
    Thanks for stopping by!

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  23. Agreed, most kids are not so happy to spend that much time in other museums - but it's also good for adults. =)

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  24. Aww your little boy looks so cute in that pic with the boat. I bet it was a ton of fun for him :) I hope they fed that goat!

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  25. Aw, thanks! =)
    And they did feed the goat - he was happily munching at the time of the photo. I was lucky to catch him with his mouth closed. =)

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