Austria - 360°
Paddle Steamer Gisela, Lake Traunsee

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All Panoramas © Bernhard Vogl,

"Gisela" is the name of a daughter of Emperor Franz Joseph I. The name was probably chosen for this ship because it has a "Kaiserkabine" (Emperor's Cabin), which was reserved for the members of the royal house of Habsburg. In the 18th century there was no adequate road from Gmunden to Ebensee, so the ship was the primary means of transportation to the summer residence in Bad Ischl.

Gisela's keel was laid in 1870 at Joseph Ruston's shipyard in Vienna. Then the ship was taken apart, brought to the Traunsee and re-assembled in 1871. Also the oscillating steam engine, built at the Prager Maschinenfabrik AG was installed at the Traunsee.

More than a century later 1980 was a sad year for Gisela. The ship was taken out of service because of material fatigue and necessary repairs were too expensive. Only private fund-raising by the "Friends of Gmunden" throughout Austria saved the ship from being scrapped. After a thorough restoration, the ship was put back into service in 1986. Today, Gisela's heart is the last oscillating compound steam engine in active service.

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