The ‘Tunnel Museum’ in the area of Merikia is a place of great interest with many significant exhibits from the period of World War II. It was inaugurated in August 2005 and it is recognized as being completely unique in its nature globally and it registers many visitors annually from around the world.
In the late 1930’s, the Italians fortified the naval base of Leros, building the largest underground munitions’ storehouses and creating workshops for the assembly and maintenance of arms. Also, they built underground storehouses for various, other materials.
During the Battle of Leros at Merikia, a garrison made up of an infantry division with 47 mm guns was established alongside the specialised technicians who assembled the bombs and torpedoes. When the Italian gunboat Legnano bearing the sign of Admiral Mascerpa was bombed and sunk on the 5th of October 1943, it was decided that its crew would be re-deployed at Merikia to reinforce the protection of this sensitive region. Merikia suffered serious damage during the heavy bombing of the 6th October. When the German army conquered Merikia, the area continued to be used as a store house for military supplies until the liberation. Only then, were the storehouses emptied of its supplies and Merikia was ultimately abandoned.
Visiting the War Tunnerl Museum of Merikia will offer you the opportunity to discover a remarkable amount of exhibits found all over the island, as well as many photographs and maps which will be your guide to the trip you have chosen to make to the time and history of the island.
In the surrounding are the Tunnel is a Military Museum Park which includes army vehicles, trucks, airplanes and various armament objects.