Novi grad

Novi grad (New City) is both youngest and largest of all local municipalities. It is located at the southern entrance into the city, also location of Sarajevo Airport. At the start of the Aggression, Sarajevo Airport, held by UNPROFOR troops, was the only connection between the besieged city and the free territory on Mount Igman. The only way to escape the besieged city was to run across the runaway, fully exposed to Aggressors sniper positions. This unsustainable situation went on for months until BiH Army came up with the idea to excavate a tunnel underneath the airport runaway.

The tunnel excavation began in the courtyard and ground floor of the Kolar family home, and the construction was carried out from two sides – Dobrinja and Butmir. Despite the heavy shelling, ground water and various other problems, the tunnel was completed in four months (27 March – 30 July 1993). It was 800m long, 1m wide and its height was 1,60m. Inside, there were small rails and a small wagon for easier transportation of people and goods. Cables supplying the city with electricity were also installed in the tunnel, as well as telephone wires and pipelines for water and fuel. During the 1,264 days of siege, the tunnel was the only link between the city and the outside world and was essential for circulation of people, food, weapons and all other things necessary for survival of the city. Tiny and heavily damaged, the Kolar family home is now a fascinating museum, where you can see objects from the past, a documentary about the tunnel construction and its use and take a stroll through some parts of the tunnel.

Dobrinja neighborhood, where the tunnel is located, was completely cut-off from the city during the first few months of the war. The citizens of Dobrinja found themselves in “no man’s land” and with collective effort managed to open a war hospital, primary school, high school and build a tunnel – the only way out of the city.

Dobrinja neighborhood borders with Mojmilo, where the Olympic Village was built for the occasion of the XIV Olympic Games. After the Games, along with the Olympic facilities, Sarajevo was left with 2.850 newly built apartments, several new hotels and more than 9500 new jobs were open.

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