Tugs pulled the 107-year-old battleship Georgios Averof to Trocadero marina in southern Athens on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. Following an intense three months of maintenance and conservation work, this dreadnought is back in her berth in Athens, where she serves as a floating museum.
A naval band played, attending ships and boats sounded their horns and a naval helicopter flew overhead as Georgios Averof was tugged in to her dock.
Three tugs moved the 10,000-ton former Greek navy flagship from a shipyard in Skaramangas, where the repairs were carried out with private funding, through the straits of Salamis to Trocadero in Athens.
Named after the Greek businessman who partly financed the huge cost of the ship's purchase [an interesting habit! - ed.], the armored cruiser was built in an Italian shipyard in 1910 and was at the time the most feared warship in the Aegean Sea.
The ship served in the Greek navy during the Balkan wars in 1912-1913, playing a leading role in victorious encounters with the Ottoman Turkish navy, helping free a few of the Greek islands in the northeastern Aegean and securing Greek naval dominance in the archipelago.
She also saw active service during World War II, when she was based in Alexandria, Egypt, after the fall of Greece to German forces. After the war ended, Georgios Averof carried the Greek government-in-exile back to Athens.
|Her bridge - not so different from WWII vintage US Navy ships|
The Georgios Averof was decommissioned in 1952, and spent the next quarter-century moored, and decaying, on the island of Poros, until the mid-1980s when the navy restored her and made the ship into a museum.
The 460-foot (140-meter) ship will open again to visitors in September, following further refurbishment at its berth (not unlike USS Constitution). The ship boasts an attendance of about 60,000 visitors per year.
Until next time,
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