Sarajevski Tunel Spasa

Useful Information

Location: Tuneli 1, Ilidža, Sarajevo 71000.
(43.8197567, 18.3373110)
Open: APR to OCT daily 9-17.
NOV to MAR daily 9-16.
Fee: Adults BAM 15, Students BAM 5.
Classification: SubterraneaTunnel
Light: LightLED Light
Dimension: L=785.5 m, W=1 m, H=1.5 m.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Sarajevski Tunel Spasa, Tuneli 1, Ilidža, Sarajevo 71000, Tel: +387-33-778-672. E-mail:
JU Fond Memorijala Kantona Sarajevo, Širokac no. 22, Tel: +387-33-252-210, Fax: +387-33-252-218. E-mail: E-mail:
Administration, Tel: +387-33-778-670.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


MAR-1993 start of construction.
JUN-1993 tunnel completed.
1994 rails installed for small carts.
1994 Republika Srpska army finds out about the tunnel, Ratko Mladić contacts UN-held airport and demands the tunnel to be demolished and closed.
1995 end of siege, tunnel becomes obsolete.
APR-2012 tunnel memorial under the management of the Public Administration "KS Memorial Fund".


Sarajevski Tunel Spasa (Sarajevo Rescue Tunnel) was built during the war in 1993. It is also known as Сарајевски тунел/Sarajevski tunel or Тунел спаса/Tunel spasa, which actually means Tunnel of salvation or Tunnel of Hope. On their website they use Spomenički kompleks “Tunel spasa” (Monument complex "Tunnel of salvation").

During the siege of Sarajevo, it was the only connection of its citizens with the rest of the world. The tunnel crosses the runway of Sarajewo Airport underground and connects two territories which were under the control of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The names of those urban districts are Dobrinja and Butmir, so the tunnel was called Tunnel D-B. The idea was, to connect the besieged Sarajevo with the rest of the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Today the tunnel is a museum, the DB Tunnel memorial complex, known to the public as the Rescue Tunnel. The Butmir side of the tunnel is open for visits, the entrance building is in the state it was at the end of the war, with hundreds of bullet holes. Part of the exhibition is dedicated to the siege of the city of Sarajevo. A map of the siege of the city was drawn on the map of the Olympic Sarajevo from 1984. It shows photos and videos of everyday life under siege, with everyday objects made by resourceful citizens to make up for the lack of supplies. Food from humanitarian aid is also on display. Another part of the exhibition explains the development of the idea to build the tunnel. Also, the organization of the construction works is explained. Rare authentic footage from the construction of the tunnel, including photos of the participants in the construction, as well as the tools used during construction.

The tunnel was used to transport important supplies like food, weapons, medicine, and cigarettes. On the first night that the tunnel was completed, twelve tonnes of military goods were transported into the city. Groups of between 20 and 1,000 people walked through the tunnel, each carrying around 50 kg of food. Due to the weight of the carried goods, the low ceiling, and the water on the floor, the crossing took some time. In 1994 rails were installed through the tunnel on which small carts could travel. Each cart carried a weight of 200 to 300 kg. But in the same year the Republika Srpska army found out about the tunnel. Ratko Mladić contacted the UN-held airport and demanded that the tunnel was demolished and closed. The VRS tried to flood the tunnel by digging another tunnel and diverting the Željeznica river, but without success.

Every night about 20 tonnes were transported. Da in Sarajevo Treibstoffmangel herrschte, wurde eine Pipeline in den Tunnel eingebaut. Then a telephone cable and a 12-megawatt power cable were also installed. After the pipeline and cables were installed, using the tunnel became quite dangerous. People had to walk in the tunnel with a power cable on one side and a pipeline on the other wading through high water.

The Sarajevo tunnel was of crucial importance for the city and the Bosniaks. It allowed the transport of food and means of production. The tunnel made it possible for the government to remain operational and for parliament to enter and leave the city.

The reason for this listing on is not the political or humanitarian importance. It's the underground tunnel, of which the first 25 m are accessible. It gives an impression of the construction, but actually not of the daily use. Today the tunnel is well lit and dry.