Tuneli 1

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At the very onset of the aggression, the Sarajevo Airport controlled by UNPROFOR troops was the only link between a completely encircled city and a free territory on Mt. Igman. The only way out of the town under siege was to run across the landing and take-off runway, fully exposed to sniper fire from nearby aggressor’s positions. In line with its mandate of neutrality, UNPROFOR put up barricades that were supposed to prevent such risky crossings. The unbearable situation lasted for months until the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Army made a plan to dig a tunnel below the airport. The digging of the tunnel started in the yard and the ground floor of the Kolar family house, with construction taking place from two directions, namely the direction of Dobrinja and from the direction of Butmir. Despite strong shelling, underground water and many other problems, the tunnel had been built in the period from 27 March 1993 to 30 July 1993. It was about 800 m long, one meter in width and 1.60 meters in height. Small rails and wagons were set up in the tunnel for easier transport of goods and people. President of the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina Alija Izetbegović used the tunnel frequently to reach the world capitals for peace talks. The tunnel also had cables installed, supplying the town with electricity, fuel and water pipes, telephone cables etc. During the 1264 days of the siege, the tunnel was the only link between the city and the outside world and was instrumental for movement of people, food, weapons, and all other necessities for the survival of the city. A small, heavily damaged home of the Kolar family stands today as a fascinating museum where you can see some of the artefacts of the time, a documentary on the construction and use of tunnels or have a tour of a part of the tunnel.

The Museum can be reached from the city by trams number 3, 4 or 6 to the last station in Ilidža, then bus number 32 (leaves Ilidža every 15 to 30 minutes on weekdays and every full hour on weekends) towards Butmir to the Tuneli Street on the left side down the street to the end.


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