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Story of Sinj

BY Monika Vrgoč
 Story of Sinj

Sinj, the town of knights, is nested in the embrace of the untouchable karst queens, Dinara, Svilaja and Kamešnica. Nourished by the fertile Sinj field and watered by the clear, frigid waters of the Cetina River, the town of Sinj  rooted our ancestors into this heavenly area. Attractive to the barbarians, Romans, Turks and many other invaders, it endured for centuries by defending freedom in blood. Alka of Sinj, the tournament under the UNESCO’s protection, is certainly the living monument of defiance and identity. Together with the Church of the Miraculous Madonna of Sinj, the greatest Marian sanctuary, it is the most distinctive symbol of this magical oasis of the Dalmatian Hinterland.

Even though its size and numbers can mislead any traveller, the Town of Sinj boasts its many characteristics that some metropolises can only dream of: the Olympic-size swimming pool offers refreshment in the summer months and the second largest hippodrome in Croatia houses the Alka horses and hosts horse races that can match even the best English competitions. What is more, the display of the three prime museums will take you on a virtual journey back to a time long past. The Alka Museum keeps pace with the latest trends of the museum science and it immerses the visitor into the magical universe of the knightly tournament in an innovative and interactive way. The precious and unique displays of the archaeological collection of the Franciscan monastery and the Museum of the Cetinska Krajina Region witness the tumultuous local and national history. The Sikirica gallery, apart from its permanent display of the favourite sculptor from Jabuka near the town of Trilj, holds various cultural outdoor events that have become an integral part of the urban area. Especially impressionable are the Stations of the Cross on the path to the Old Town fortress. The monumental fountain Three generations dominates the adorable town park and is one of many artistic odes to the Alka of Sinj.

Although it is liveliest in summer, the town of Sinj abounds in various events throughout the year. Numerous institutions and associations organize the sport, music and cultural events and especially unique are etno manifestations. Many visitors will visit the festival of Marian spiritual music Klape Gospi Sinjskoj and delight in the carefully chosen musical notes. The Kamičak fort hosts the greatest names of world, jazz and etno music (Kamičak Etno Festival, Music Evenings at Kamičak fort), the S.A.R.S. festival and Sinj’s mini Woodstock – Gljevstock will satiate the appetite of the rock music lovers. The 1715 Siege of Sinj performance depicts the events from the glorious battle crucial for the town of Sinj, and at the village fair, apart from revelling in the autochthonous and ecological food and drinks, one will be astounded by the performances of the Cultural Artistic Associations that enliven the spirit of antiquity, old trades and adorable courtships at the evening gatherings and treshing floors.

Apart from taking pride in its chivalric, musical and cultural characteristics, the town of Sinj is also proficient in sports. Basketball, football, handball, volleyball, to name a few, are sports that the clubs from Sinj excel at. Many national team players are produced by the clubs of Sinj which is another thing Sinj’s sport clubs take special pride in.

It would be a sin not to, if only for a short while, flee from the hustle and bustle of the city streets and breathe in the pure energy of the natural beauty which is selflessly offered by the Cetinska Krajina Region. With a rosary in their hands and a prayer on their lips, a pilgrim will take the Our Lady of Sinj route, on the ancient paths beaten by the faith of countless believers. It will be difficult for hikers to choose just one trail: everything is magical in its own unique way, so it is best – to visit them

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