:  The Internet's leading website for Side-Wheeled Paddle Steamers

Bodensee (Lake Constance), German Fleet
A Mr J Bodmer of Konstanz built the 21.4 metre long PS Stephanie in 1817/18 but it was not successful. It was not until 1824 when two separate companies introduced steamers, that continuous service was established on the German shore of Lake Constance.

Eventually, operations came under the control of the state railway companies representing the three German states which bordered the lake : Baden, Wurttemberg and Bayern. In 1920, the Deutsche Reichsbahn assumed control after the separate state railways were amalgamated although the previous state administrations continued as regional management centres and little changed with respect to the ships, with operational bases at Konstanz (Baden), Friedrichshafen (Wurttemberg) and Lindau (Bayern).

The main route was from Konstanz across to Meersburg and along the German shore to Friedrichshafen, Lindau and ultimately Bregenz in Austria, with a separate service to Uberlingen in the upper arm of the lake. The Baden administration also operated a short service in the Untersee to Radolfzell.

Paddle Steamer Hohentwiel (1913) remains in service, based at Bregenz in Austria after being restored by a preservation society and is now privately operated

Above; Stadt Uberlingen, of 1929, the last paddle steamer for lake Constance (Bodensee) and the only paddle steamer ordered by the combined German Railways (Deutsche Reichsbahn).
It was also the last paddle steamer ordered for alpine or pre-alpine lakes.
Source : BSB Archiv / Wikicommons : Published under CC

Paddle Steamer Operators - click on company name for vessels ordered by the company


Friedrichshafener Dampfbootgesellschaft
From 1839: Württembergische Bodensee-Dampfschiffgesellschaft
From 1854 : Königliche Württembergische Staatseisenbahnen


1817 - 1818 Schiffahrtsunternehmen des Herrn Bodmer, Konstanz
1830 Dampschiffahrtsgesellschaft für den Bodensee und Rhein, Konstanz
From 1863 : Großherzogliche Badische Staatseisenbahnen

Bayern (Bavaria)

1824 - 1830 Schiffahrtsunternehmen der Herren Cotta und Church, Lindau
1835 Dampfboot-Aktiengesellschaft in Lindau
From 1862 : Königlich Bayrische Staatseisenbahnen


Deutsche Reichsbahngesellschaft (From 1920)

Internet Links : The internet site with everything about Lake Constance ships, past and present

Return to
Historical Database