Century-old warship returns to Athens after repairs
After three months of extensive maintenance and conservation work, a 107-year-old battleship returned Wednesday to its berth in Athens, where it serves as a floating museum.
A naval band played, surrounding ships and boats sounded their horns and a naval helicopter flew overhead as the “Georgios Averof”, a relic from the era of dreadnoughts, was nudged in to its mooring spot.
Three tugs towed 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, the armored cruiser was built in an Italian shipyard in 1910 and was at the time the most feared warship in the Aegean Sea.
It 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 string of Greek islands in the northeastern Aegean and securing Greek naval dominance in the archipelago.
It also saw active service during World War II, when it was based in Alexandria, Egypt, after the fall of Greece to German forces. After the end of the war, it carried the Greek government-in-exile back to Athens.
The “Georgios Averof” remained in service until 1952, and spent the next quarter-century moored on the island of Poros, until the navy decided to restore and use it as a museum in the mid-1980s.
The 460-foot (140-meter) ship will open again to visitors in September, following further refurbishment at its berth. About 60,000 people visit it every year.
You may be interested
AEK Athens drawn against Dynamo Kyiv in Europa League final 32makis - Dec 11, 2017
AEK Athens will face Ukrainian team Dynamo Kyiv in the final 32 knock stage of the Europa League. Games will…
Moment of explosion at New York stationmakis - Dec 11, 2017
The New York Police Department says it is responding to a report of an explosion near Times Square. The response…