Vridni: Oldest Steamer Tug in Croatia Now on Display in Split

Total Croatia News


The only preserved steamer tug in Croatia has been moved from storage in Brodosplit Shipyard to a more prominent position on January 11, 2018

As of this week, a certain little gem from the vast treasure chest of our maritime heritage is displayed in Split for all the world to see: the steam-powered tugboat Vridni, the only preserved vessel of its kind on the Croatian Adriatic and one of the oldest completely preserved ships in the world.

Vridni was built in Rijeka in 1894 as the first newbuild of the shipyard Howaldt & Co. at a venue that nowadays houses the 3. Maj Shipyard. The vessel was originally named Légy (fly in Hungarian), and after its first owner ceased to exist in 1902, Légy was sold to a company based in Trieste.

In 1922, the vessel was renamed to Doket and moved to Split where it was used as a harbour tug for the following decade, and then went on to tug lesser tows in Split Shipyard from 1932 to the beginning of the World War II. Doket became a part of the Yugoslav Partisan Navy in 1943, hiding in various coves and bays on Hvar island to evade potential threats presented by the German aviation. The vessel participated in a rescue mission in the same year, delivering the steamer Gruž to safety from the waters of Brač island. In 1944, Doket was damaged during the bombing of Split, later getting repaired on Vis island and continuing to serve as an auxiliary cargo ship of the Partisan Navy.


Steam boiler of Vridni

The vessel was renamed Omladinac after the end of the war, and got its current name Vridni in 1962. Nomen est omen, as they say – Vridni means diligent in Croatian, and the hard-working ship remained in use in Brodosplit Shipyard until 1969 when it rightfully retired.

Vridni has a riveted steel construction with a wooden deck, a metal funnel and a wooden superstructure which is nowadays missing. The 124 year-old vessel is a part of the list of cultural properties of the Republic of Croatia, and has been in storage at the Brodosplit Shipyard for some time now. However, it was recently decided the priceless vessel should be relocated to a place in the open. In collaboration with the Conservation Department of Split, Vridni was moved to a more prominent position on the grounds of Brodosplit earlier this week, and can now be seen and admired by any person in passing. A fate well deserved!


Source: Brodosplit


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