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Bringing a paddleboat and Propeler back on the Danube

A GROUP of civic associations presented four plans at the end of January that they hope will revive several kinds of boating on the Slovak section of the Danube River as well as celebrate the region’s rich history of ships and shipping.

Recent ice on the Danube has precluded boating, but enthusiasts have big plans.(Source: TASR)

A GROUP of civic associations presented four plans at the end of January that they hope will revive several kinds of boating on the Slovak section of the Danube River as well as celebrate the region’s rich history of ships and shipping.

The groups propose to renovate a pre-World War II ship named Šturec and place it in a museum, resume operating the famous Bratislava Propeler boat that used to regularly cross the river between Petržalka and the city centre, refloat the Devín, a small steam paddleboat, and also construct a floating fountain in the river to commemorate the work of fire fighters and rescue service personnel. The initiators of the ideas are Spoločnosť Ferdinanda Martinenga (the Ferdinand Martinengo civic association), the Nautivia company, and the Šturec Lodné múzeum (ship museum).

The SITA newswire wrote that the Šturec was built in Komárno in 1937 and was baptised by Milan Hodža, the first Slovak prime minister of the Czechoslovak government between the two world wars. The ship is now anchored in Bratislava harbour and was recently named a national cultural monument. The groups propose that the ship be restored and then placed in a museum.

“We want to make an exposition of the history of Slovak shipping and of our company so that people have an idea how shipping began here and explain all of its historical contexts,” Juraj Bohunský of Slovenské plavby a prístavy (Slovak Shipping and Harbours) of Bratislava told SITA, adding that he hoped that people could view the restored Šturec from its pilot house all the way down to its hull.

The proposed fountain, to be called Martinengo, would be anchored on the Petržalka side of the river opposite the Eurovea Shopping complex. The initiators also hope that the Devín steam paddleboat can begin to tread the waters of the Danube once again between the Apollo and Lafranconi bridges.

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