A unique war museum inside a tunnel

war museumThe war museum of Leros is located in Merikia, not in a classic building, but in a tunnel in the mountain built by the Italians in 1930 as an ammunition depot. At the entrance there are military vehicles, planes and various types of weapons. Inside the museum you hear audio documents from World War II such as the sound of bombers just like in the days of the war. There are interesting historical objects such as weapons, clothing and personal belongings of the era perfectly preserved.

Just outside Lakki is the interesting War museum of war remnants that immediately create a jarring climate of intense historical reflection: a tank, an airplane, off-road and transport vehicles; and then the damaged remains of other vehicles hit by grenades or bombs.

In the rooms of this otherwise called “War Material Storage” or museum of war, you can see a great harvest of weapons, uniforms and various accessories of the Italian but also British and German departments, involved in those furious fights of 1943.

The whole island is also crossed by tunnels that were dug by order of Mussolini, some of which are now set up as museums. There is also the opportunity to watch historical videos on the military events of Leros and to observe original prints of press releases, edicts and periodicals, to recover through touching moments that have left their mark and today largely lost.

During the Italian occupation of the Dodecanese, from 1912 to 1943, the italian navy understood that this exceptionally protected bay with a narrow entrance between two points of land that tighten like pincers, would be the most suitable location for the creation of a port fortified military; which was in fact built there to be a naval base like a real “Pearl Harbor” of the Mediterranean.

Right here stands the monument in memory of the Italian, Greek and English soldiers who fell in November 1943 on the occasion of the Battle of Lero: a fierce battle against the Germans, which was central to the development of the Dodecanese military campaign.