Ps Szoke Tisza
The steamer „Szőke Tisza” is one of the flagships of Hungary. The pre-history of its birth is concurred with the history of the Hungarian river shipping. The MFTR (Hungarian River Shipping Corporation) was founded in 1895, it had to stand up to the competition with the Austrian DDSG, which was the biggest river shipping corporation at that time. It was the break point that they started to build representative long-distance steamers, furthermore 4 ships in 1896. Hungary celebrated the millennium of its Conquest in this year, so the ships were suitable for arranging renowned national commemorations and receptions. Within a national ceremony on the newly build steamer – named the monarch Ferenc Jozsef - the „Vaskapu” (Iron Gate) was opened for the shipping with three monarchs on the board, so the shipping was available for the steamers between Regensburg and the Black Sea.
By the first years of the World War I. the majority of the above mentioned ships was damaged or destroyed – including the steamer Ferenc Jozsef - , for its replacement the steamer IV.Karoly (named by the last Habsburg monarch and Hungarian king) has been started to build, present-day named „Szőke Tisza” (Blond Tisza). This ship – although it was built on the base of its ancestor – was even bigger and more representative. E.g. the height of the fix point of the ship was 8.75 m and there was built a parade four-storeyed staircase in the centre of the ship.
The history of the ship, relevant events.
It was built in 1916/1917.
The consulates and the banks of the central empires were salvaged from Bulgaria in October 1918.
The biggest coin was decorated by its image in 1926.
This was the commodore of ship-procession, which event was arranged for the meeting of the Eucharistic World Congress in 1936.
This was the base ship of the first meetings for pre-decisions in Vienna in 1938, which gave back a part of the Northern land of Hungary, had been taken away in the World War I.
The “Saint Imre” took part in the displacement of the Bessarabia Germans to the Third Empire in 1940.
England claimed this ship together with other 10 ships and these were confiscated by the court in 1947. The English escaped with the help of this ship on 6th of May. (According to the period press they have broken out).
The Federal Control Committee handed over the fleet - lined-up in front of the ship - on its board to the predecessor of MAHART on 8th September 1947.
The ship was retired in 1976; it was taken to Szeged and used as a disco ship.
It was sold in 2000 for a symbolic amount to use as a museum and restaurant, though the new owner did not intend to renovate it, it was just sold and bought.
556 million HUF was gained for the renovation on a tender of the European Union to utilize as a cultural centre in 2009/2010. But the requisite own assets 100 million HUF were missing.
The assigned operator company towed the ship from its original place to the edge of the bay in 2011.
The ship tilted and half-sunk in February 2012. The reason of the sink is still unknown.
A small group of civil tried to raise the ship by pumping in March 2012, but they did not succeed. There was not enough time, the flooding was coming and they had not sufficient financial resources, either.
The ship was auctioned in May 2012, it was bought for 5 million HUF by an ironmonger.
The Hungarian government gave a green light to the ironmonger, gave up its pre-emption rights, and abrogated the status of the protection of the ship in August 2012.
Its wooden structure was started to disassemble in October 2012.
The ship has taken part in several events of the Hungarian and the World history. This is the last long-distance steamer of the Danube, because its brother-ships have been destroyed, and unfortunately the class of DDSG SternKlasse was over. This is the third biggest ship with its 80,5 metres length among the known side-wheeled river steamers after De Majesteit and Goethe at present, and however the biggest one with two chimneys, it seems the ship will be destroyed, if an investor is not found within a short time.