"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
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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