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Historical Database
Austria
Mondsee
The Mondsee is approximately 12 kilometres long and lies in the Austrian Salzkammergut, close to Salzburg and to other lakes with paddlers, including Attersee and Wolfgangsee. The first steamship company, the "Erste Mondseer Dampfschifffahrts-Unternehmung", was founded in 1872 and offered two return trips daily from see to Mondsee by the screw steamer Ida, which had inaugurated services on the Attersee three yerars earlier. Ida proved unsatisfactory on this lake too, and for the second season, a new paddler was put in service - the "Mondsee".

Competition to the pioneer company run by Berthold Curant, a former railway engineer, came in 1887, with the introduction of a 16 metre long screw-steamer, "Helene", by the "Neue Dampfschifffahnrts-Unternehmung", owned by Robert Baum, a local factory owner. Clearly, two operators was more tha enough and Curant's business was taken over by Baum during the following year, and significant improvements were made to PS Mondsee, including a new engine ordered from Escher-Wyss. Mondsee returned to service in early August 1888, renamed "Stephanie".

Ida remained in Curant's ownership but spent most of her time laid up, before being sold for scrap in 1898. Helene was lengthened in 1892 to improve the facilities for the growing tourist trade encouraged by the coming of the railways to the shores of the lake. Kaiser Franz Josef I's trip on the lake in the summer of 1893 also helped raise the profile of tourism in the area.

The paddler, which had been renamed "Habsburg" in 1900 and retained it's Imperial name after the First World War, was withdrawn in 1931 following a collapse in the tourist trade , but remaned laid up, sinking at Mondsee during a storm in 1935. The vessel was subsequently raised and the hull taken on to land, surviving until scrapping in 1953

Helene was converted to a motor ship in 1951 and two small motor launches, Eisenfels and Wartenfels were added in 1950 and 1952. Helene remained in service until September 1995 and was purchased by the local Mondsee community for preservation locally.

Paddle Steamers
Mondsee (1873-1931 in service : from 1888, Stephanie and from 1900, Habsburg. Scrapped in 1953)
Screw Steamers
Ida (1872-1888, scrapped in 1898)
Helene (1887- 1995, converted to diesel power in 1951, now preserved at Mondsee)

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Historical Database