That a town with more hundreds of 1.000 of inhabitants is able to survive 1.000 days of the total blockade, was meant impossible, but Sarajevo and its inhabitants proved it wrong.
War Tunnel Museum
With courage, devotion and exceptional ingenuity, and along with great sacrifices Sarajevo has survived as a free town, and the ways of surviving, resistance and supplying the town will stay in the history recorded with big letters as the obligatory text for the future generations to study and remember, for a long time.
War Tunnel Museum, interior
One of the biggest actions, which during the whole blockade of the town, contributed that the inhabitants of Sarajevo survived and supply the town with the indispensable war material, is the action “Tunnel”, action that lasted to the very end of the blockade of Sarajevo. In the very difficult situation, and with the total blockade of the complete town, which was deprived of footstuffs, electricity, fuel, and not to mention arms and minitionsof which the citizens neither in the peacetime period had in their own hand, on the 22 December 1992, the headquarters of the BiH Army issued an order to approach into making out of a plan for construction of a tunnel under the airport runaway, with the idea of connecting besieged with the free teritory.
War Tunnel Museum, Tunnel of Hope
Along with the unfavorable weather conditions, the lack of tools and permanent shelling, the first excavations began in January 1993. The works were making progress very slowly and with frequent interruptions. In order that from 28 January 1993, diggers began with twenty-four hour work in three shifts. A bigest problem was the undergorund water, that had to be most frequently thrown out manually.
Tunnel Museum, War Tunnel, Tunnel of Hope
After the lasting several months of brutal struggle with the misfortunes that accompanied the construction, permanent shelling, the lack of tools and water pumps, undergorund waters and similar, on 30 July 1993, at 21:00 p.m., two diggers from the oposite directions, offered a hand to each other.
The hand of hope, the hand of victory. Sarajevo has got, indeed very small, opening into the world. A total of 2.800 m3 of ground was excavated, and 170 m3 of the wood and 45 tons of iron building materials were built in. The tunnel was 800 meters long with the average height of 1,5 meters and average width of 1 meter.
War Tunnel Sarajevo, Tunnel of Hope
Because of the permanent shelling, the tunnel was installed with a pipe-line that was used for the delivery of oil for the town, then the mail-cables were also laid on, and thanks to the donation of Germany, the electro-cables were placed down so that Sarajevo has got a minimum of electricity and telephone lines with the world.
During the blockade of a thousand days, the tunnel was both the hope and salvation. Through it thousands of tons of food, military technical devices, fuel and medical materials used to be transported, the most difficult wounded persons used to be moved to safety; soldiers, functionaries and military superiors come in and out.
War Tunnel Sarajevo
The tunnel has become a symbol of the resistance of the unarmed people, to one of the most powerful armies in Europe. Let leave a memory on the way of life, the way of salvation and bravery.
* At the tunnel site you will be able to see 18 minutes movie, take look at the part of tunnel, and see museum exhibition of war and tunnel artifacts.