Noah’s Ark: Kentucky’s quirky tourist attraction


In the small town of Williamstown, Kentucky, there is an amusement park whose star attraction is a replica of Noah’s Ark. However, this is not a small model, because the ship is based on the dimensions indicated in the Bible. The freak show is now a major tourist attraction in the US state.

About 40 minutes from Cincinnati Kentucky is the small town of Williamstown. Hardly any tourist would get lost there if it weren’t for one of the largest and most bizarre sights in the entire US state. And the size is understood literally, because in Williamstown, as the heart of a Christian amusement park, stands a replica of the biblical Noah’s Ark. And its size, based on the descriptions in the book of Genesis, can safely be described as gigantic.

Because the wooden ship of the Ark Ecounter, as the park is called, wants to recreate a version as faithful as possible to the original of the boat in which Noah, according to the Bible, saved himself, his family and countless animals from a flood devastating, with which God made use of the men of his time to want to punish their vices. Today, visitors can follow this story on three floors and experience it in the new Noah’s Ark. The ship is an impressive 155 meters long, 25 wide and over 15 high, and in Williamstown can be seen from a distance like a biblical UFO in the landscape. Strong Official site it is the largest half-timbered building in the world.

Construction cost of 100 million dollars

Noah's Ark
Bizarre tourist magnet: an entire amusement park has been created around Noah’s ArkPhoto: Getty Images

Mark Looy is a co-founder of the new Noah’s Ark, which opened the Answers In Genesis organization in Williamstown in 2016. He told TRAVELBOOK about the unusual attraction: “Having already opened the Museum of the Story of Creation in 2007 in northern Kentucky, which now attracts 500,000 visitors a year, we came up with the idea of ​​a replica of Noah’s Ark. This was mainly because many people asked us about the historical background of Noah and the great flood We wanted to help Christians better explain this story to others. For everyone else, it should simply answer questions about the ark and the flood and convey a Christian message.”

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And this project cost Looy and his partner Ken Ham a lot, whom he describes as the visionary behind the project. According to his own statements, the construction of the park, including Noah’s Ark and its many other attractions, cost 100 million dollars, or 90 million euros. $60 million came from bonds, the rest from donations or season tickets for the only amusement park. The park has room for 4000 cars and in addition to the huge walk-in ship there is also a zoo, zipline attractions, various restaurants, playgrounds, camel rides and virtual reality experiences, just to name a few.

Huge economic factor

In Noah’s Ark, visitors will learn about biblical history and the great flood, believed to have occurred some 4,300 years ago. What is surprising is that according to the Official site of the Ark Encounter There are equivalents of this story in more than 200 legends from around the world, some of which predate the Bible by thousands of years. However, this experience should probably be really understandable, especially for very believing Christians, and also the website is very much based on values ​​and biblical readings.

According to Looy, about a million people come every year to admire Noah’s Ark and have fun in the park. “On some summer days we have up to 9,000 guests.” Looy proudly notes that Noah’s Ark has also become one of the most important economic factors in Northern Kentucky. “Since the opening, new hotels have been built everywhere in order to adequately accommodate the masses of visitors. 90% of them do not come from this state”.

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Anyone who has become curious in the meantime and would like to visit Noah’s Ark in person can currently do so from Monday to Saturday from 9:00 to 20:00 and Sunday from 13:00 to 19:00. All Seasonal opening times can be found here. Admission is free for children 10 and under, but everyone else must reach into their pockets for the biblical privilege. A day ticket for an adult currently costs $59.95, or nearly €55. Children aged 11 to 17 pay $29.95 (a whopping €27, those aged 60 and over pay $49.95 / a whopping €45). You can find them all here Prices and possible combinations with other attractions.

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