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1715 Siege of Sinj

August 10, 2017, 8.30 pm

Under cover of August night, when sultry summer days are relieved only for a short time by its fresh air, there are two acts to be played. The first act starts at the Pijaca, the main town square, when the Ottomans conquer the town of Sinj, burn the church down and take the people into slavery. An effective performance is given by the members of the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service (HGSS) who, dressed in Ottoman costumes, climb down roofs of the surrounding buildings, in that way faithfully evoking the feeling of panic of the people of Sinj facing the violent enemy.

Riding triumphantly in a coach, Mustafa Pasha Čelić announces in an overbearing manner that the Sinj fortress will be conquered without difficulty, while at the same time the Fortress at the Old Town shelters the people and a handful of defenders, together with the painting of the Mother of God. The second acttakes place at the Old Town, where the Defence Council take the decision to defend their town from the enemy much superior to the mand stronger than them.

The act also shows Pasha’s tent, wild parties and rage of the Ottomans after the people of Sinj have refused to surrender. Several times the Ottoman shave attempted to taketheFortress by storm, but their attacks have been successfully repulsed. After the painting of the Madonna is carried in procession led by Father Pavao, a messengerbrings news: ‘The Ottomans are now in flight! ‘ Sinj camp is thrilled and the grateful people, defenders, friars and officers, standing in front of the image of the Madonna, sing a thanks giving song ‘Oh, the Madonna of Sinj, Holy Virgin…’

Te eighth staging of the 1715 battle and the preceding events is to take place, in order to commemorate glorious defence of Sinj from the Ottoman invasion and a wonderful moment when the Mother of Mercy protected her people from enemy violence. It is a moment which has marked the history and the identity of Sinj, a moment being revived by the heroic Alka and worship of the Miraculous Madonna of Sinj, victory of faith and harmony of the Sinj knights, and hope for the help of their heavenly patroness.