The "Szoke Tisza II." Steamship

21. 11. 2018.

The "Szőke Tisza" steamship, more precisely the "Szőke Tisza II." was finished in 1917, at the manufacturing plant in Újpest, of "Ganz és Társa Danubius Villamossági, Gép- Waggon- és Hajógyár " Inc, originally named as "IV. Károly" after the reigning monarch of that time.

This was the biggest instance of side wheeled passenger steamships, ever built in Hungary. Its lenghht was 77,4 m, widtth 15,29 m, draft depth 1,5 m. The double chimney steam boiler was able to deliver 800 HP performance, through which it could floatout of its own power from Passau all the way to the delta of Danube.

On the iside of the steamer there was not a trace, that the First World War rampages in Europe. The interior and exterior design inspired the glorious days of happy times, as the steamer’s duty was to represent the greatness of the Monarchy, and of course, the greatness of Hungary.

One year later, the "Szüke Tisza" has got its companion, which was named after IV. Károly’s wife, queen Zita. This steamer has approximately the same parameters as its ship-companion.

At the end of World War, of course, the steamer cound not continue to use its name, thus, IV. Károly became the "Eagle", while queen Zita became the "Kestrel". The ship was also renamed: it got the name "Szent Imre", presumably the 900th anniversary of Sait. Imre's death gave the idea. It was a venue for numerous state events and receptions in the 1930-s, with its sister ship "Szent István" (originally:

"Kestrel"). In 1938 they were the main venues of the Eucharistic World Congress, but in St. Stephen's Memorial Year the task of these two ships was also to round up the "Holy Right".

In the Second World War, in 1944, the ship (and its sister ship) and the whole river fleet were driven to Austria by the Germans. The whole MFTR fleet (or rather, what's left of it) have reached the end of World War II in Linz. Linz fell to the US zone, so the ships sailed under an American flag until they returned home. They were brought back t Hungary in 1947. After a quick maintenance they were handed over to the newly formed Hungarian-Soviet Shipping Company. The handover was held on one of the most beautiful and largest ships of Hungary, the Saint Imre (later: "Szőke Tisza").Blessed Tisza) steamer, before which the best ships lined up of the joint-stock company.

The regime of that time – because of the oppression of religion - the ship could not keep is original name, Saint imre, but it was christened to "Liberation".

The ship was renovated in 1957, through which it was transformed into a cruise ship, as opposed to its sister ship, which was scrapped and torn off in 1965.

In 1976, the ship was declared a standing boat, at it was used as a disco-ship. In 1978, "Szőke Tisza" was demolished (a Ferenc Ferdinand Archduke type of ship), which has – as a strange phantom of fate – ran out from the ship manufacturing plant under the name of "Ottó Főherceg" (Habsburg Ottó – sun of IV Károly –who has died in 2011. The city management of Szeged didn’t like the new name, so the did renamed it to "Szőke Tisza"

By 2000 the ship's consistency was so weak, that it could not be used even as afixed ship, therefore they took it to the Tápé Bay. Since 2000, the ship has had several owners, but none of them could succeed the survival of the steamer. In February 2012, ice crippled its side, but the ship was succesfully supported, so it did not fall.