One of the most famous stories in the Bible is that of the Flood and of Noah's Ark. The story of only Noah and his family along with two of every animal species in the world being saved on an ark while the rest of the world was inundated has long been a favorite of Sunday School. It just so happens that in the story, the dimensions of the ark are given along with some basic descriptions.
It has therefore been possible to recreate the ark in real life as described in the Bible. Currently, there are three full-sized replicas of Noah's Ark around the world - one in Hong Kong, one in the Netherlands, and one in Kentucky.
About The Ark Encounter
The Ark is part of the Ark Encounter and is a Christian religious Young Earth creationist theme park in Kentucky. It has only been open since 2016 and is based on the Genesis flood story. The Creationist Museum there showcases the Christian group's beliefs of a young Earth and the co-existence of man with the dinosaurs.
- Location: Grant County, Kentucky
- Date Opened: 2016
The ark has been built as true to the story as possible, its dimensions are:
- Length: 510 Feet or 155 Meters
- Width: 85 Feet or 26 Meters
- Height: 51 Feet or 16 Meters
- Fun Fact: Johan's Ark (The Dutch Replica) Is The Only One That Can Actually Float
- Funding: Project Received Incentives From The City, County, And State Because It Was Thought To Be A Boon For Kentucky's Tourism
The ark itself cannot float and rests on a series of concrete towers 15 feet off the ground. The starboard side of the hull of the ark feeds into masonry towers that contain elevators and restrooms.
Visiting The Ark And Creationist Museum
In the same way as visiting the cathedrals of Europe is stunning, visiting this massive replica is also amazing. The ark boasts some 132 bays with each being around 18 feet high and are arranged into three decks. Visitors who enter the ark start on the lowest deck and then more up through the deck's on-ramps.
- Size: The Creation Museum Is 75,000 Square Feet
On the second deck are animal models along with a model of Noah's workshop and a blacksmith. There is much more than just an ark replica here, there is a full creationist museum. Some of the more unusual exhibits depict the "sinful world" before the Flood and feature a priest sacrificing an infant to a snake god and a people fighting dinosaur and a giant human in a gladiatorial arena. The museum depicts the stories told in the Bible from the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve through to the Flood with Noah's Ark.
Perhaps not what one would expect to find in the middle of Kentucky, but at the site is "Emzara's Kitchen". This is a two-story, buffet-style restaurant with a massive seating capacity. The capacity of this restaurant is 1,500 guests - which makes it one of the largest restaurants in the world. The restaurant has been converted into a cafeteria-style restaurant. See here for some stunning restaurant themes around the world.
- Restaurant Hours: Monday to Saturday 11.00 am to 5.00 pm
- Sunday Hours: 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm (Presumably After Church Hours)
- Buffet For Adult And Youth: $16.99 (Aged 11-59)
- Seniors: $14.99 (Aged 60 And Over)
- Child: $8.99 (Aged 5 to 10) - Under 5 Are Free
Admission Tickets To The Attractions
- General Admission: $24.95 (Youth 11 To 17 Years Of Age)
- General Admission: $49.95 Adult
- Under 11: Free
Ark & Creation Museum Combo
- General Admission To Each: $44.95 (Youth 11 To 17 Years Of Age)
- General Admission: $79.95 Adult
- Under 11: Free
For more information and bookings check out their website Ark Encounter.
Besides the Creationist Museum, Emzara's Kitchen, and the massive Noah's Ark, there are a number of other attractions and activities to keep the whole family happy. There is a virtual reality theater, ziplining, and a local zoo called the Ararat Ridge Zoo and has animals like kangaroos and camels as well as a petting zoo for the kids. The virtual reality theater is the Stargazer Planetarium where one can sit back and be amazed as the universe is vividly replayed on a massive 30-foot diameter dome.
And then there are the Botanical Gardens. These occupy a three-acre lake and are (of course) themed. One can casually stroll along the stunning one mile of paved and accessible trails. There are a number of small bridges and waterfalls en route and are designed for people to marvel at "God's creation".
- Ararat Ridge Zoo
- Stargazer Planetarium
- Botanical Gardens
The replica has proven itself to be a large attraction mostly for many people from all around the country with nearly a million visitors coming to visit the attraction annually.