Types of journeys: Tunnel of Hope, Back to history

During the Siege of Sarajevo during Bosnian War between 1992 and 1995, the Sarajevo Tunnel was constructed by the besieged citizens of Sarajevo in order to link the city of Sarajevo, which was entirely cut-off by Serbian forces, with the Bosnian-held territory on the other end of the supposedly neutral area at the Sarajevo Airport controlled by the United Nations.

The tunnel linked the Sarajevo neighbourhoods of Dobrinja and Butmir. Beginning in January 1993, the Sarajevo Tunnel was dug by Bosnian volunteers working in 8-hour shifts. The Sarajevo tunnel was completed in mid-1993, which allowed food and humanitarian aid to come into the city, and people to get out. The tunnel was one of the major ways of bypassing the international arms embargo and providing the city defenders with weaponry. The tunnel was 1.5 metres in height and about 1m in width, and ran for approximately 960 metres (3,150 ft) in length. During the time it was used, it is estimated that 20 million tons of food entered the city, and 1 million people passed in and out of it. The tunnel was most famously used to transport the former Bosnian president Alija Izetbegović in his wheelchair which was run on the railway of the tunnel. The tunnel was ingeniously dug in a wide L-shape in order to prevent the Serb forces from caving it in with shells, since the tunnel exit points could not remain a secret for too long. From 1993 to 1995 the tunnel further developed by putting in a mineshaft-like railway, drainage pumps and digging out crossing points where people coming from two different sides could pass by each other as the tunnel was not wide enough to do that everywhere. It is less known that the Bosnian forces began working on a second, bigger tunnel towards the end of the war, but it was never completed or utilized as the war ended in December of 1995.
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Tunnel of Hope
The tunnel was 1.5 metres in height and about 1m in width, and ran for approximately 960 metres (3,150 ft) in length.
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Spirit of Bosnia
by Selma Ajnadžić
Sarajevo, November 24, 2016
Welcome to Bosnia and Herzegovina: country of long tradition, tolerance and spirit of diverse society...

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