The Austrian steamship Radetzki was built in Hungary in 1851. On May 29, 1876, the Bulgarian revolutionaries from Hristo Botev’s detachment overpowered the ship and forced it to change its course to the Bulgarian port of Kozloduy. From there, the detachment reached the mountains near Vratza in an attempt to fight for the liberation of Bulgaria.
In 1966, the legendary steamship was reconstructed based on the original design and technical data. The money was collected in a fundraising initiative of 1,200,000 Bulgarian students.
The ship is a National Museum since 1982. It is a subsidiary of the National Museum of History in Sofia from April 16, 2004.
The Steamship Radetzky Museum will be forever linked to the life and freedom ideals of Hristo Botev, a prominent Bulgarian poet and revolutionary, and the perils they faced. Now the ship is a Bulgarian National relic.
The museum ship presents an exibition with valuable relics –the flag of Botev’s detachment, uniforms of the rebels, the last letters written by Hristo Botev on board the ship, etc.
The Steamship Radetzki is the only traveling museum ship in Bulgaria and on the Balkan Peninsula. It makes organized tourist group trips from April to the end of October.