Friday, March 25, 2011

Tudor Vladimirescu, the steamship

Did you know that:

One of the few remaining steamships driven by paddles that is still operable today in the whole Europe can be found in Galati, resting at it's berth in front of the Navigation Palace?

Tudor Vladimirescu in Romania

  • This pioneer of river ships was built in 1850-1853 at the Ganzdanubius shipyard in Viena, with the purpose of serving as a tug on the Danube. In 1919, the ship was given to Romania, as war compensation. It was renamed "Sarmisegetuza" and fitted to receive passengers, and soon after began it's new assignment on the Braila-Galati-Tulcea-Sulina route.
  • During the second world war, this ship served as a mobile hospital for injured soldiers.
  • It received it's final name, "Tudor Vladimirescu", after the famous figure in romanian history, in 1947.
  • The ship is 60m long, has a width of 7.5m and with the help of it's 600 HP engine it can reach up to 18km/h.

The modern era

The "Tudor Vladimirescu" sailing on the Danube. Picture is property of "Viata Libera" newspaper, Galati

It began in 2004, when it's owner, Navrom Galati, decided not only to repair the ship, but also to refit it with the latest navigation technologies.

The hearth of the ship, the 600HP steam driven engine is, of course, still in use, turning the big paddle-wheels with the same grace and agility as it did more than 150 years ago. Passengers can admire this marvel of mechanics trough glass walls, that reveal the complexity and beauty of the design.

Actually, the design and quality of the engine are so good, that little maintenance was actually needed over the time to keep it in top shape. The only real modification done was changing the fuel type used, from heavy oil to diesel.

The ship can take on board 100 passengers at a time, that can enjoy the beautiful sights the Danube has to offer, explore the ship or socialise in the two lounges with indoor and outdoor bars.

If you climb on board the "Tudor Vladimirescu", you can be proud of yourself, you will sail with the same ship that king Ferdinand with queen Maria, king Carol the second, king Mihai, or marshals Averescu and Antonescu have previously used.

If you live in Galati, or you are just passing trough, you should make a short detour to visit this ship. In front of the Navigation Palace you will find a real piece of history.


Anonymous said...

It says here: "The only remaining steamship driven by paddles that is still operable today in the whole Europe can be found in Galati."

This isn't exactly true. Check out this site:

Skiblader is a paddle steamer still in timetabled service. And it's located in Norway.

Klaude said...

I stand corrected, sir. The pictures on the site look amazing and I would surely love to take a trip with Skibladner :)

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