Sarajevo: Tunnel Museum

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In Spanish, the word resistencia means resistance, but it also means endurance. More akin to struggle in English. The stories of everyday heroes are very appealing: not passive victims, they fight under great strain and uncertainty.

We booked a tour of the Tunnel Museum in Sarajevo through the city tourist office. Driving through the city, our frank and engaging guide pointed out important sites: the closed museum, the Holiday Inn where journalists stayed during the war, snipper ally, and so on. She described a pre-war city with 50 percent mixed marriages; people’s ethnicities during the war were determined by their last name. Tellingly, the country has not conducted a census in 20 years, fearing what might be learned. She described the constant barrage of noise during the war, and after, “silence was the worst thing.”

Eventually we reached the countryside and the house under which the tunnel rests. People smuggled supplies in from the free zone during the war. Much of the tunnel had since collapsed, but you can walk through a short piece. It is claustrophobic and uneven in places, and intense to imagine making the journey during the siege. A short film and exhibit round out the tour.

The Tunnel Museum is a great testament to the struggle against aggression. A must see.

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