Crowds come to look at the great rally taking place for the 304th time in the Sinj town in Croatia. The annual race gathers men from all Sinj Croatia counties. They rally their horses through the main city street. The goal of the tournament is to target the iron ring (alka) hanging on the rope.
Sinjska alka is a traditional knight tournament, oldest of its kind. It was inscribed on the UNESCO List of Intangible Heritage in 2010. There is no question whether you should go – it is a definite yes. The beautiful horses galloping the city streets, the spectacular traditional dresses and procession held after the race is a truly unique experience in Croatia.
The real question, though, is how to get to Sinj, what to see around and where to go next after you have seen the spectacular racecourse.
Sinj Croatia, Signo or Zein: A Small Town with Long History
As you may guess by name (or, several of them), the history of Sinj carries through many time periods, and the city landscape provides tourists with diverse cultural experiences.
Since the Stone Age, the place was inhibited. The valley of Cetina river, cast between the mountains and favoured with a mix of continental and sub-Medditarean climates allowed for peoples to settle and flourish. Illyrian tribe, the first discovered inhabitants of Sinj, has left a large footprint in the Croatian culture. For example, the famous peka food preparation style, it is, cooking under the bell jar, is as ancient as 2250-1600 BC. Romans In the 1st century AD founded the first cities. To see the remains of their culture, visit Archaeological Collection of the Sinj Franciscan Monastery, where the Goddess Diana Lucifera and head of Heracles are exhibited for visitors.
In the late Medieval period, Sinj outgrew the ancient fortress. In the 17th century still, during the times of Ottoman Empire, the city grew around the monastery and the church of the Miraculous Lady of Sinj (Gospa Sinjska), which you can still visit today on the main square. Resisting wars and earthquakes, it is indeed a miracle the church has withstood the time and preserved its original appearance.
By the end of the century, the town was taken over by Venetians. Sinjska alka celebrates the victory over the Turkish army in 1715 when it defended the city from 60,000 troops invading the town. Precisely 100 years after, the town was included in Austria, where it remained for another century. Visiting the In the 20th century, Sinj was under the rule of Yugoslavia, until the independence in the late 20th century. You can visit the monument of Sinjska alka in bronze from this period of the town history which celebrates the 1715 victory.
Sinj: How to Get there
Located just 40 min ride away from Split (bus: €2), this Dalmatian town is a place of contrasting quiet, especially after you come from Split or Dubrovnik, cities full of tourists.
To get to Sinj, you can use the public bus. In Croatia, also UberX works, as well as Bolt, in case you come from Split. There are no trains, but taxi will cost you around €60.
Best Daytrips from Sinj, Croatia
Best for Active Adventure Travelers: Orlova Staza
Are you ready to bring a bit of action to your vacation? Orlova Staza or the Eagle’ s trail near Sinj is one of the best Dalmatian countryside cycling routes you can possibly find. The 44 km route is not quite flat, with an elevation of 969 metres. It is not boring, though – the mix of cross trail and road cycling will keep you awake. Starting with asphalt, continuing with picturesque gravel roads and ending with oak forest, the route is demanding but with excellent views. You can also cycle to the spring of the river Cetina.
Best for Families
If you are not certain of your kids enjoying long hours on their bikes, you can go for the Game of Thrones filming location instead. Not all of the GOT was shot in Dubrovnik (read: Game of Thrones Dubrovnik Guide). The Klis Fortress in between Split and Sinj. You can get here from Sinj by taking a taxi (24 km) or by private car. Alternatively, if you come from Split, get a 30 min ride in bus No.22 from the National Theatre (buy the ticket in the kiosk). Beware the 1.5-hour break in the bus timetable around lunch, though.
Best for Seniors – travel from Sinj Croatia
If you are looking for SPA and wellness retreat, the best bet is to go back to Split and enjoy some lazy afternoon at fish SPA or enjoying the pre-historic peka foods in this famous Peka restaurant. Are you ready for Sinj?
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