Sarajevo Tunnel: A Lifeline Under Siege

tunnel of hope museum sarajevo

The Sarajevo Tunnel of Hope, a lifeline during the darkest days of the Siege of Sarajevo, stands as a testament to human resilience and the unbreakable spirit of a city under siege. This article delves into the intriguing history of the tunnel, its vital role during the Bosnian War, and its present significance as a museum.

A Lifeline Under Siege:

From July 1993 until late February 1996, the Sarajevo War Tunnel was the besieged city’s sole connection to the outside world. Painted into a corner by the horrors of war, Sarajevo depended on this tunnel to survive.

The Gritty Reality of Its Construction:

The tunnel’s construction was a monumental task. It took more than six grueling months, with workers armed with nothing but pickaxes and shovels. Their only source of light was provided by “war candles” – containers filled with cooking oil and fitted with makeshift wicks.

The Tunnel’s Dimensions and Purpose:

Measuring around 800 meters in length, the tunnel was just over a meter wide and had an average height of 1.5 meters. Despite its modest size, it held the key to the survival of the beleaguered city.

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The Tunnel’s Life-Saving Role:

Thanks to the tunnel, Sarajevo regained access to critical resources, including telephone lines, oil supplies, food, and electric energy. It became the city’s lifeline, providing a glimmer of hope in the midst of despair.

The Tunnel as a Museum:

After the war, around 20 meters of the tunnel was preserved and transformed into a museum. This living museum is a poignant reminder of the Siege of Sarajevo, the longest-running siege of any city in modern history. Visitors can explore the tunnel’s history and view artifacts from the time, gaining a deeper understanding of the city’s past.

Planning Your Visit:

If you’re eager to step back in time and pay tribute to the indomitable spirit of Sarajevo, the Tunnel of Hope is open for visits. Guided tours are available, allowing you to explore this historical site and gain insights into the city’s wartime experiences. Be sure to make reservations to ensure your visit goes smoothly.

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