S/S Burdigala, historical images


S/S Kaiser Friedrich (later S/S Burdigala) at the time of delivery to her shipowners, the German, Bremen based Norddeutscher Lloyd. (www.schiffe-maxim.de Collection).

Karte 1898

“Carte postale” from the Clara Bernthal Verlag, Danzig, posted from the city of Hela, former German East Pomerania, on 1st of May 1898, eleven days before the delivery of S/S Kaiser Friedrich (later S/S Burdigala) to the shipowning German maritime company Norddeutscher Lloyd. The sender, named Nepomuk, idiomatically informs the reader regarding the completion of work on the vessel. (KFB Collection).

S/S Kaiser Friedrich departs from Danzig port assisted by tug boats. (Sammlung Ivo Mechtel).

Το S/S Kaiser Friedrich

Kaiser Friedrich - Plan

Side drawing of Schnellpostdampfer (fast mail steamship) Kaiser Friedrich. (Sammlung Rothe).

In this painted over period photograph of S/S Kaiser Friedrich, her distinctive hull line is accentuated. (Sammlung Ivo Mechtel).

Το S/S Kaiser Friedrich στην προβλήτα αριθμός 1 του Hoboken, New Jersey, το 1898. (Albert E. Gayer, SSHSA Collection).

S/S Kaiser Friedrich at Pier 1 of Hoboken, New Jersey, during 1898. (Albert E. Gayer, SSHSA Collection).

S/S Kaiser Friedrich possibly at Bremerhaven. Her original funnels at this early photograph are showing before they were lengthened (in an effort to increase horsepower and lack of speed). (Sammlung Ivo Mechtel).



A drawing of S/S Kaiser Friedrich, which was not only the draft of Willy Stöwer´s painting, but further more it was the main motive for a series of letter cards printed by NDL. (Hapag – Lloyd AG Archive, Hamburg).

S/S Kaiser Friedrich approaching Bremerhaven. (Sammlung Ivo Mechtel)

S/S Kaiser Friedrich at  Bremerhaven, Norddeutscher Lloyd’s home-port. (W. Kaye Lamb Collection).


This idyllic post card, showing S/S Kaiser Friedrich with only two funnels, was written on 28th April 1899, during her second to last passage under the flag of Norddeutscher Lloyd. The first written over inscription of 15th April 1899, indicates the common practice of the big liner companies of the period for printing memorabilia post cards with the ship’s name and date of sailing for each transatlantic passage. (KFB Collection).


“April 6th, 1899, Greetings from Bremen, Norddeutscher Lloyd, Steamship Kaiser Friedrich”. (KFB Collection).

S/S Kaiser Friedrich at Bremerhaven. (Sammlung Ivo Mechtel).


The 12th July 1899 lunch menu of S/S Kaiser Friedrich. (Archive Peter Michel)

S/S Kaiser Friedrich, ca. 1900, at a period when she was sailing under the flag of the German maritime company HAPAG. In this picture the heightening of the three funnels is evident as well as the bow ensign with the city of Hamburg’s emblem, (Wappen von Hamburg). (Photo A. Löffler, Arnold Kludas Collection).

S/S Kaiser Friedrich Acommodation Plans

Accommodation plan of S/S Kaiser Friedrich.

The main dining room. (Sammlung Ivo Mechtel)

The main lounge. (KFB Collection)

The music room. (Sammlung Ivo Mechtel)

The main stairs (Sammlung Ivo Mechtel)

The smoking room (Sammlung Ivo Mechtel)

S/S Kaiser Friedrich, at the Övelgönne section of Hamburg Port at the beginning of the 20th century. The picture conveys the overall traffic on the Elba river. (Sammlung Ivo Mechtel).

Το S/S Kaiser Friedrich (με τα τρία φουγάρα) στο λιμάνι του Αμβούργου το 1901, ζωγραφισμ�νο από τον Karl Paul Themistokles von Eckenbrecher. Στα δεξιά διακρίνεται το σήμα κατατεθ�ν του Αμβούργου, η εκκλησία του Αγίου Μιχαήλ.

S/S Kaiser Friedrich (with three funnels) at the port of Hamburg in 1901, painting by Karl Paul Themistokles von Eckenbrecher. On the right St. Michael’s cathedral, Hamburg’s landmark is also visible.

KFB Collection

S/S Kaiser Friedrich at the port of Hamburg. (KFΒ Collection)

Το S/S Kaiser Friedrich στο λιμάνι του Αμβούργου, στην περιοχή Strandhafen, το 1906. (KFΒ Collection)

S/S Kaiser Friedrich at the port of Hamburg, in the area of Strandhafen, during 1906. (KFΒ Collection).

Το S/S Kaiser Friedrich, στο λιμάνι του Αμβούργου, λίγο καιρό πριν αγοραστή από την Compagnie de Navigation Sud-Atlantique, η οποία άλλαξε το όνομα του σε S/S Burdigala. (© Hapag-Lloyd AG)

S/S Kaiser Friedrich, in the port of Hamburg, just prior to being acquired by the French Compagnie de Navigation Sud-Atlantique, which renamed her to  S/S Burdigala. (© Hapag-Lloyd AG).

Το S/S Burdigala το διάστημα που αγοράστηκε από την γαλλική εταιρεία Compagnie de Navigation Sud-Atlantique με �δρα  το Bordeaux της Γαλλίας. (Andre Durand Collection)

S/S Burdigala at the period when she was just acquired by the French, Bordeaux based, Compagnie de Navigation Sud-Atlantique. (Andre Durand Collection).

Paquetbot postal à grande vitesse Burdigala de la Cie de Navigation Sud-Atlantique.

“Paquebot postal à grande vitesse Burdigala de la Cie de Navigation Sud-Atlantique.”

Το πλοίο όταν ακόμα τα φουγάρα του δεν είχαν βαφτεί με τα χρώματα της  Cie de Navigation Sud-Atlantique. (Andre Durand Collection)

The ship when her funnels were not as yet painted in the colors of her new owner, the  Compagnie de Navigation Sud-Atlantique. (Andre Durand Collection).

Το S/S Burdigala στο λιμάνι του Bordeaux, το επονομαζόμενο Port de la Lune (λιμάνι του φεγγαριού), λόγω του σχήματος μισοφ�γγαρου που �χει το ποτάμι Garonne σ΄ αυτό το σημείο. Στην φωτογραφία διακρίνονται τα φουγάρα του πλοίου βαμμ�να με τα χρώματα της Cie de Navigation Sud-Atlantique. (Andre Durand Collection)

S/S Burdigala at the port of Pauillac, a small town at the Médoc peninsula near Bordeaux. In this picture now the funnels have been painted in the colors of Cie de Navigation Sud-Atlantique. (Andre Durand Collection).

Burdigala WP

S/S Burdigala at the period when sailing under the interests of the French Cie de Navigation Sud-Atlantique, in the line between Bordeaux – Dakar – Rio de Janeiro – Rio de la Plata. (KFB Collection).

S/S Burdigala at the port of Pauillac.

Pauillac - Red

Passengers boarding the ocean liner S/S Burdigala, ca. 1913, destined for South America. In the middle funnel the emblem of Cie Sud-Atlantique is visible; at that time it was a peacock. This photo was taken at the port of Pauillac. (KFB Collection).

Το S/S Burdigala στο λιμάνι του Bordeaux το 1913.

S/S Burdigala at the port of Pauillac ca. 1913.

Η ρετουσαρισμ�νη αυτή φωτογραφία, από την «λευκή περίοδο» του S/S Burdigala, δείχνει το πλοίο να πλ�ει στον ποταμό Garonne όπου βρίσκεται το λιμάνι του Bordeaux. Στην δεξιά μάσκα διακρίνεται το όνομα του γραμμ�νο με κεφαλαία γράμματα, BURDIGALA. (KFΒ Collection)

This touched-up picture comes from the “white period” of S/S Burdigala, showing her steaming up the Garonne river where the port of Bordeaux is located. On the starboard bow the ship’s name BURDIGALA is visible in capital letters. (KFΒ Collection).

Στην φωτογραφία αυτή, η οποία είναι ίδια με την προηγούμενη, η εικαστική επ�μβαση του φωτογράφου παρουσιάζει το πλοίο με άλλο χρώμα και άλλες συνθήκες πλεύσης.

This picture is the same as the previous but the photographer’s touch up now renders the ship in black and under different sailing conditions (no wake).

Το Burdigala κατά την διάρκεια φόρτωσης γαιανθράκων. (Andre Durand Collection)

Burdigala during a coaling procedure. (Andre Durand Collection).


The train tracks leading to the loading quay at the Paulliac port. In the background the silhouette of  S/S Burdigala is clearly noticeable. (KFB Collection).

Burdigala Paquebot

In this picture of S/S Burdigala, taken at a period when she was sailing for the Cie Sud-Atlantique, the seven portholes of the bridge superstructure are visible as well as the small bow derrick, situated in its same position even today. Also visible at the top of the superstructure is the external auxiliary steering wheel. (KFB Collection).

Στην φωτογραφία αυτή του S/S Burdigala, τραβηγμ�νη το διάστημα που το πλοίο ταξίδευε για την Cie Sud-Atlantique, διακρίνονται τα επτά παράθυρα της γ�φυρας καθώς και ο χαρακτηριστικός μικρός γερανός της πλώρης ο οποίος �χει παραμείνει στην θ�ση του μ�χρι σήμερα. Επίσης στο επάνω μ�ρος της γ�φυρας διακρίνεται το εξωτερικό πηδάλιο του πλοίου.

This picture is the same as the previous but the photographer’s touch up now renders the ship in color. Such was a common practice for black & white photographs up to the early 1960’s. (KFB Collection).

Το S/S Burdigala στην ράδα, στο Dakar, το διάστημα που ταξίδευε στην γραμμή Ευρώπη - Νότια Αμερική μ�σω Σενεγάλης. (Andre Durand Collection)

S/S Burdigala at roads in the port of Dakar, during the era of her liner service between Europe and South America via Senegal. (KFB Collection).


The oceanliner S/S Burdigala outside of the port of Pauillac. (KFB Collection).


S/S Burdigala at the period when she was commandeered by the French Navy as an armed cruiser-troop transport of WW I. (KFB Collection)

Burdigala Toulon

S/S Burdigala dressed in full flag code at the naval base of Toulon, France. On her three funnels the cock emblem of Cie de Navigation Sud-Atlantique is visible. (KFB Collection).

S/S Burdigala Accomodation Plans

Accommodation plan of Paquebot-Poste Burdigala.


A Military post card picturing Burdigala weathering stormy seas, posted on Saturday 5th May 1916. On the back note, aside from the sender’s health report and greetings, is written: “Dear mother, this is the Burdigala with which I arrived in Thessaloniki,…I kiss you Emile”. (KFB Collection).

S/S Burdigala stoker seaman, Jean Lolio (1887-1966), who as a surviver lived through the last moments of the ship. He described in much detail the sinking to his grandson Andre Durand, who in turn has contributed to our research. (Andre Durand Collection).

Το, σαν βοηθητικό καταδρομικό επιταγμ�νο, S/S Burdigala (στο βάθος) στο λιμάνι της La Valetta - Malta, το 1915. Σε πρώτο πλάνο βρίσκεται η ναυαρχίδα του γαλλικού ναυτικού, το πλοίο Jean Bart, κλάσης Courbet. (KFΒ Collection)

As an auxiliary armed cruiser the commandeered, S/S Burdigala (in the background) here at the port of La Valetta, Malta, in 1915. In the foreground is the French Navy’s Courbet class flagship “Jean Bart”. (KFΒ Collection).


The French military sector of the Thessaloniki Bay during the First World War. (KFB Collection).


A WWI German sea mine. (Hastei Archive).

HMS Rattlesnake

The British destroyer HMS Rattlesnake. Right after the explosion which sunk S/S Burdigala, rushed near the stricken ship to assist in the evacuation and managed to rescue the entire crew. (KFB Collection).


The battleship Provence, was the flagship of the French Navy in the Aegean. After the sinking of S/S Burdigala, the survivors were transferred from HMS Rattlesnake on board the Provence while she was anchored in Piraeus and given first aid.  Provence also received the S.O.S. signal on 21st November 1916 about the sinking of HMHS Britannic, just one week after the loss of Burdigala. (KFB Collection).


Miniature models in scale of 1:1250, made by master modeler Carlo Marquardt of Hamburg, Germany. In front is the U 73, in the middle the S/S Kaiser Friedrich under the Norddeutscher Lloyd era, and at the back under the HAPAG era. (KFB Collection).


The Hunter and the Victims. Detailed miniatures (scale of 1:1250), clearly indicating the size comparisons among the U 73 submarine, the ocean liner S/S Burdigala (rendering byCarlo Marquardt), and Titanic’s sistership, the huge hospital ship HMHS Britannic (rendering by Holger Lange). (KFB Collection).

Copyright © 2009 by D. Galon and the S/S Burdigala Project Team

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