Destination of the month

Visit Sinj and hit the centre – new glow of Alka’s city

Megaproject Sinj u sridu (Sinj in centre) is designed as an integrated project of renewal and embellishing unique cultural heritage of Sinj. Project, worth 68 million and 114 thousand kunas, is focused on reconstruction, renewal and revitalization of immovable cultural heritage and valorisation of intangible cultural heritage.

Within this project streets were reconstructed, and entire urban city core was equipped. Also, Stari Grad fort was arranged as well as Kamičak fort and a bell tower. Building Palacina was also renewed, which is of exceptional cultural-historical value. Here a completely new, arranged Museum of Cetina region will be located, together with multifunctional hall for presentation of traditional crafts and products. This is especially important for numerous family rural households, small crafts and cooperatives dealing with production of autochthonous products and souvenirs. From now on they will be able to present and sell their products throughout the year.

Significant amount of finances go to theme Sinj Alka – mainly for purchase of equipment and development of new multimedia interpretation forms and centre dedicated especially to this knights’ competition, upgrading of souvenir production and other contents.

They also plan to build Interpretation-educational centre on Sinj hippodrome, on almost 2500m2. Centre is planned as a space where visitors will be able to participate in Alka’s horse-riding school, and feel real presence and vicinity of noble horses from Alka’s stables at first-hand, and even feel original Alka costumes.

On this project, together with Sinj Town as project holder, another five project partners are involved that are relevant for social and economic development of the region and management of cultural heritage.

Sinj is proud of its efforts in sustainable tourism, constantly aiming to ensure pleasurable everyday life for the locals and attraction and freshness to its guests. This was recognized by EDEN network (European destinations of excellence), which awarded this town with first prize in category ”Exceptional cultural-tourist offer in EDEN destinations”.

Numerous significant cultural-art events contributed to winning this award, together with numerous places in town that are used as a stage for various manifestations. The presence of the spirit of past times floating over Sinj is just fascinating – priceless cultural heritage is not just a look in the past, but a firm base for shiny future.

Sinj Alka – organized in honour of victory over Ottomans in 1715, is a sort of time machine that takes you back to some ancient times where one can hear rattling sables and firelocks, neighing of decorated horses, while proud knights of hawk eye and firm fist throw their spears in the centre, the smallest circle of  the  metal target; but, there is more to see in Sinj.

The church and a monastery of Our Miracuouls Lady of Sinj is one of the biggest Croatian Marian sanctuaries and it is a host of the very top of Croatian klapa (acapella) singing, on a traditional concert Klape To Our Lady of Sinj. Spiritual acapella compositions of exceptional quality in open space of meditative monastery garden must be heard live.

For their vows, pilgrims will hike the Road of Our Lady of Sinj, along ancient roads and picturesque bridges on the Cetina River, traditional hiking and horse-riding paths near the remains of defence walls, abandoned route Rera, former Sinj rail. Stations of the Cross on Grad fort are unique works of sculpture art and are exquisitely incorporated in ambience of a walkway, surrounded by tranquillity of the greenery.

In Cetina Region Museum and Archaeological collection of Franciscan monastery many priceless historical objects from local finds are on display (ancient settlement Aequum, Tilurium), which testify of early civilizations on this area. Multimedia Sinj Alka Museum (Europa Nostra award winner – award for cultural heritage of the EU) in a modern and interesting way presents specificities of knights’ game, and in gallery Sikirica, apart from permanent exhibition of works of Stipe Sikirica, many exhibitions, literary nights and various cultural events are held.

Kamičak, small fort of star-shaped layout, former watchtower whose clock is the main time-orientation point for all the locals even today, is an ideal stage for cultural evets and concerts like Music Nights. Sounds of classical, traditional and jazz music under the starry sky will most certainly delight you and make you come back the next year as well.

Show The Siege of Sinj 1715 is a historical drama spectacle that takes place on authentic locations and shows events from famous battle in 1715. Do not miss to experience how 700 Sinj’s defenders resisted the attack of 70 000 Ottoman soldiers led by Mehmed-paša-Čelić!

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Football is definitely home in Croatia, and you will be reminded of this with football game between Delmats and Romans, designed on the basis of historical fact tied to headstone of Gaj Liberije – ‘kid with a ball’, as they call him in Sinj. The game is actually a comic theatre show, with fictional rules, in spirit of ancient times. In main roles there are emperor Diocletian and empress Priska with their consultants, surrounded by guards and soldiers in their loge. On the field there are musicians, a referee, ten Delamats and ten Roman players, all dressed up in original costumes. Unusual and fun, certainly worth visiting, even if you don’t know what offside is.

S.A.R.S. (Sinj amateur rock gathering) is a festival of alternative culture organized by S.K.U.P. association (Sinj Cultural Urban Movement) for many years. Festival is initiated to promote amateur rock bands from all over the country, but with time, famous both Croatian and international musicians came to perform. With the occurrence of more famous music bands, audience grew as well, so they come not only from towns and places around Sinj, but from more distant places and even from abroad. With musical part, association organizes performances, literary nights, film projections and various activities and workshops. Mark the end of July in your calendar – S.A.R.S. will definitely have one performer according to your taste.

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Gljevstock is made for your inner hippy. Conceived as informal music gathering of Sinj’s music band members and their friends, festival soon outgrew its boundaries and continues to thrive year after year. The main goals of this festival are socialising and freedom, bends always play in presentational way, not as a competition. In the spirit of festival, camping and entrance are free, and to organizers, positive reviews are the most important. Pack your tent and check if they’re right.

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Sinj Village festival is an excellent opportunity for getting familiar with local products and crafts. Small and medium rural households from rural Sinj area and its surrounding are offered with a precious opportunity to present their traditional high quality homemade products that can’t easily reach consumers: homemade cheese, honey and other bee products, homemade meat delicatessen, wine, brandy, liqueurs, oils, eco-products and so on. Various types of traditional souvenirs are also on display, like hand embroidery, every day and decorative items and natural jewellery – all are a result of utmost care and responsibility towards heritage that is jealously kept, transferred from one generation to another and kept from oblivion. Programme is enriched with performances of cultural-art societies, bands and Sinj’s majorettes. You will leave Sinj with a full belly and full of impressions.

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Measureless richness of tradition that is necessary to preserve for future generations was recognized by Ministry of Culture of Croatia. It protected rera (colourful two-part singing) as a cultural heritage, together with annual carnival customs of villages under Kamešnica led by Grandfathers from Kamešnica, while silent dance, unique folk dance with no musical background has been listed on UNESCO intangible heritage list.

It’s busy in Sinj for Advent too, when the cold is chased away with good entertainment and holiday music, with plenty of good meals and quality drops. As soon as Chrisman and New Year’s holidays are gone, town keys are handed over to carnival participants, led by traditional Grandfathers from Kamešnica. Sinj also organizes Easter breakfast, pleasant socialising in merry atmosphere of celebrating the greatest Catholic holiday.

It is hard to single out just one thing that makes the town under Kamičak a magical place – maybe the embrace of mountains, cold river, ash-grey cliffs or magical endless grasslands and meadows of incredibly rich flora and fauna, or even richer cultural heritage? This kind of dedication is nowhere else to be found, such a high level of gastronomic and wine offer, with far-known Sinj’s hospitality – all this is merged into a true idyllic surrounding which will definitely revitalise your body and spirit. Sinj is not just a pass-through destination – thanks to unified and targeted efforts, it has become a very popular destination and you will make no mistake if you make a reservation right now!

The project “Sinj u sridu” was co-financed by the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund and the Operational Program Competitiveness and Cohesion.

Photo: Ante Gašpar, Nikola Belančić, Željko Zrnčić and Monika Vrgoč

More: visitsinj.com

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