The tunnel, dug with hand tools under the airport, was the only land way to enter and leave Sarajevo during the more than 44-month-long siege of this city in the 1990s. It is located at the entrance to the house of the Kolar family, which preserved it in its original form after the war and turned it into a museum.
The narrow, muddy tunnel is called “Object DB” in military documents, which is an abbreviation of the settlements of Dobrinja and Butmir, which this tunnel connects.
The citizens of the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), which was under siege by the Army of Republika Srpska (RS), called it the Tunnel of Salvation.
It was built so that the wounded people, food, weapons, fuel, and electricity could be transported to and from the city.
Few people know that, apart from this one, another tunnel was dug under the runway at the end of the war.
You are in an open area and you are running, and they (the Army of RS) are shooting at you, says Edis Kolar, who was 18 years old at the time. Today he is a guide in the museum.
The Army of the Republic of BiH requested permission to build a tunnel in the yard of the house from the Kolar family.
The construction of the almost 800-meter-long tunnel took a little more than four months. Two teams dug, one from the settlement of Dobrinja, and the other from the settlement of Butmir. They merged under the airport runway on July 30th, 1993.
The passage was controlled by the First Corps of the Army of the Republic of BiH, and the entrance to the tunnel was often shelled from the positions of the Army of the RS.
Today, about 130 meters of the tunnel is open to visitors, Slobodna Evropa reports.