Kanal Sv. Ante, Šibenik.
|Classification:||World War II Bunker|
|Dimension:||L=250 m, D=15 m.|
|Guided tours:||self guided|
Morski tunel Hitlerove oči, Kanal Sv. Ante, Šibenik, Tel: +385-.
Tvrđava sv. Nikole, Obala dr. Franje Tuđmana 4, 22000 Šibenik, Tel: +385-22-338-343, Tel: +385-22-218-964. E-mail:
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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Morski tunel Hitlerove oči (Hitler's Eyes Sea Tunnel) is a World War II bunker for ships, built by the German Wehrmacht. After the war it was used by the Yugoslavian Army for the same purpose, and it was modernized and extended. But finally the ships became bigger and the bunker was abandoned. Being a military site it was top secret until the collapse of Yugoslavia, afterward it was in disuse.
The tunnel has the shape of a U with two entrances, so it's possible to enter on one end and leave again on the other end, without turning around. On the other hand this also restricts the length of ships which fit in, a straight tunnel would be more practical. The tunnel is not very big, and even small military vessels will use most of the space, so it is actually not possible to overtake. If a ship in the middle has to leave, all ships before have to leave also and can afterwards return. This seems to be a big flaw of the whole tunnel, and was probably one of the reasons why it was abandoned. The reason for this strange form is simply, that it originally was used as access to the city of Šibenik by water. The tunnel was used to bypass underwater mine barriers during wartime. The name Hitlerove oči (Hitler's Eyes) is a result of the two openings seen from the opposite shore resemble eyes.
Finally it was rediscovered and is now a tourist site, which is visited by boat tours, and is used for events. The techno events, live music and art performances are organized by the nightclub RatKat. The club also has a natural cave and an above ground site for their concerts and performances. We have actually no idea how they organize the events in the sea tunnel, because the main tunnel is actually an underground harbour, it is flooded. We guess the events actually take place in the parallel, dry tunnel of the bunker, where the material was stored, the workshops and the living quarters of the bunker crew were.
While the club calls their site simply tunel, the name Morski tunel is commonly translated Undersea tunnel, which is actually nonsense and not a valid translation. The Croatian name means Sea Tunnel, which is obviously correct, as it is simply a huge tunnel which is flooded with seawater halfway up and thus forms an underground sea harbour. But the tunnel is definitely not under the sea. Other similar bunkers along the coast were intended for submarines, and they actually had an underwater entrance tunnel where the submarines could enter without being seen. Ships do not have this possibility. We have no idea why it is called Hitlerove oči (Hitler's Eye), obviously a reference to the fact that it was originally built by the German army during World War II. But it is unclear if it was a joke by the Yugoslavian army or rather new
The city Šibenik is located at a sort of flooded valley, which runs parallel to the Mediterranean Sea and is connected to the sea by a narrow canal named Kanala sv. Ante (St Anthony's Channel). The sea entrance to this connection is protected by a massive fortress named Tvrđava sv. Nikole (Fortress of St. Nicholas). The tunnel is located halfway in the canal, and the boats which bring tourists from Šibenik to the fortress, make a short stop at the tunnel. While the tunnel is accessible and free, the boats are obviously not. You can visit the tunnel by your own boat, by other boat tours, and you can combine it with a visit of the fortress.