Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Virtual Walk along Our Lady of Sinj Trail (PHOTOS)

May 26, 2021 - The tourist boards of Sinj, Solin, and the municipalities of Klis and Dugopolje, in cooperation with Split-Dalmatia County, the Shrine of Our Lady of Sinj, and the tourist agency Cogitolab, are beginning the first phase of a virtual Our Lady of Sinj Trail and a new website www.stazagospisinjskoj.hr.

After last year's announcement that the Our Lady of Sinj project would be revitalized, initiated by Split-Dalmatia County in cooperation with the Shrine of Our Miraculous Lady of Sinj in Sinj, HGSS Split branch, Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board, Sinj and Solin, Dicmo, Dugopolje and Klis municipalities, the Tourist Boards of Sinj and Solin and the municipalities of Dugopolje and Klis, the project of renovation and upgrade of the Our Lady of Sinj Trail is currently being implemented through the creation of a Virtual Walk and the creation of a new website.

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Željko Zrnčić

The Our Lady of Sinj Trail stretches on the Solin - Sinj - Livno - Tomislavgrad - Rama route and is 148 kilometers long. It is a pilgrimage route that has been used for centuries to walk from several directions to the largest Marian shrine in southern Croatia. The Our Lady of Sinj Trail project has been approved under the IPA Croatia - Bosnia and Herzegovina program and relies on traditional hiking and equestrian trails and the abandoned Rera route, the former Sinj railway.

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Monika Vrgoč

After the official completion of the project in 2015, there were numerous devastations on the track itself. Therefore, to further evaluate, Split-Dalmatia County initiated its reconstruction.

Faced with a global pandemic, due to which we all have limited movements and new market conditions and modalities, we have embarked on the first phase of revitalizing the Our Lady of Sinj Trail project.

Using virtual tools, the project tries to bring all interested visitors closer to the entire offer on the trail (numerous sights, rich cultural and historical heritage, as well as tourist facilities) and interest them in future visits to the Our Lady of Sinj Trail and Marian shrines. The virtual walk is prepared by members of the experienced team of the Cogitolab agency in cooperation with the priests of Our Lady of Sinj priests, the Shrine of Our Lady of Otok, the Parish of St. Jakov and Ana in Dicmo, Parish of St. Michael the Archangel in Dugopolje and the Parish of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Klis, which will provide them with the necessary conditions and help in creating content for many pilgrims who arrive in our southern Croatian Marian shrines.

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Ivan Alebić

Marian shrines have always had a special place in the hearts of believers. They worshiped the Blessed Virgin Mary and prayed to her for help in difficult times and troubles. They trusted in her heavenly intercession, honoring her out of gratitude as the queen of the Croats. She has been called the fidelissima advocata Croatiae (the most faithful lawyer of Croats) throughout history.

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Ante Gaspar

Every year, before the Feast of the Assumption, between August 8 and 15, thousands of pilgrims, especially young people, go on a pilgrimage to the city of Sinj. On August 15, a central religious ceremony is held. Accompanied by the celebration of bells and fanfare, the image of the Miraculous Lady of Sinj is taken from the church in a solemn procession through the streets of the city. It is a great honor to carry the picture on your shoulders.

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Kukuzovac

The historical connection between the faithful and Our Lady's shrines is also important on the eve of September 8, the feast of the Assumption, the celebration of the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is especially solemnly celebrated in Solin, in the Shrine of Our Lady of Otok. Rivers of pilgrims will flow from Sinj to Solin and from many other places in Croatia. It is a special experience to set off on foot along the ancient paved paths on a spiritual journey, away from the city noise and commotion, and to find peace and refuge in the safe shelter of Our Lady. Pilgrims will take the votive step to the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, along marked paths through picturesque areas rich in historical heritage. On the spiritual journey to the Heavenly Mother, they will pass by the remains of old paths and bridges, along with the forts, forts, stećak tombstones, sacral buildings, and museums.

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Branko Čović

By developing the accompanying infrastructure and raising awareness of the immense value of cultural and religious heritage, the Our Lady of Sinj Trail is active throughout the year, not only during the feasts of the Assumption.

The Our Lady of Sinj Trail is an excellent example of the functional coexistence of tourism and religion without disturbing the natural balance.

It is also a valuable contribution to the tourist offer of Sinj, Cetina region, and Split-Dalmatia County, proof of smart disposal of cultural and aesthetic values and natural resources, which certainly gives a positive boost to sustainable tourism, welfare, and well-being of society as a whole.

To learn more about Inland Dalmatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Monday, 12 April 2021

Cycling Tourism Development in Inland Dalmatia - Split Hinterland Presented in Dugopolje

April 12, 2021 - The tourist boards of the Municipality of Dugopolje, the Municipality of Klis, Sinj, Trilj, and Vrlika have joined forces to launch a project for the developing a modern cycling tourism offer in their area. The Cycling tourism development in Inland Dalmatia - Split Hinterland project was presented in Dugopolje.

As a selective form of high value-added tourism, cycling tourism is one of the fastest-growing niches in the tourism industry. Simultaneously, cycling tourism is an extremely sustainable and valuable catalyst for the tourist and economic and social development of areas and regions that traditionally are not considered active in tourism. At the heart of its users' motivation lies the desire to enjoy the preserved spaces and get to know the authentic local cultures.

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Bruno Radotić and Petar Čavlović

For tourist-developed destinations, cycling tourism provides much-needed diversification of the offer, the extension of the season, and guests with higher added value. To them, complementary to rural areas, it opens the door to tourist activity. The potential of cycling tourism is also recognized at the strategic level, so in the Tourism Development Strategy of the Republic of Croatia, it is stated as a strategically important product in which it is necessary to invest. Also, in the conditions of the "new normal," cycling tourism acquires an additional positive dimension as one of the most resilient forms of tourism in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Bruno Radotić and Petar Čavlović

Cycling requires a systematic approach to developing infrastructure and services and creating fresh promotional patterns. Collaborating with the brand "Trail - Full Cycling Experience," specializing in the development of cycling destinations, which in Dalmatia develops a cycling offer of Makarska Riviera and Zabiokovolje and the Neretva Valley, and created a unique micro-destination Polje Jezero between Vrgorac and Ploce, began in late 2020 is an extensive field and analytical work of assessing resources, potential, and the current situation in the area of Dugopolje, Klis, Sinj, Trilj, and Vrlika.

During November and December 2020, cycling tourism experts drove all existing and marked routes in the area of all cities and municipalities involved in the project. In total, they analyzed 21 routes with 656 kilometers of bike routes. They assessed the types of routes, their adaptation to market needs, safety status, coherence of marking, complementarity, connectivity, and equipment and tourist attractiveness.

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Bruno Radotić and Petar Čavlović

Based on the collected data, a detailed analytical-reporting document was prepared, which was presented to the client's representatives at the meeting held in March in Dugopolje.

The document provides a picture of the current situation, assesses the quality of existing infrastructure, highlights the challenges and obstacles to positioning the area in the cycling market, and provides basic guidelines for the necessary interventions and modifications of existing resources. It recognizes the exceptional potential of Inland Dalmatia as a cycling tourist destination. Preserved nature, diverse landscape, an extensive network of roads and local roads with low traffic intensity, and accessibility from the most important European markets make this branch of sports and adventure tourism a logical step.

Accordingly, the tourist boards of Vrlika, Trilj, and Sinj and the municipalities of Klis and Dugopolje continue to focus on the development of cycling tourism with the aim of greater recognition of the destination in key markets and developing sustainable tourism.

Follow the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Sinj Tourist Board Reminds Us of Easter Traditions

April 3, 2021 - The Tourist Board of Sinj wants to help us feel festive for this Easter season, so they have prepared an extraordinary video and photo material to celebrate the Easter traditions which have lived on in the families of the region.

The biggest Christian holiday is again celebrated under the new circumstances: separated, but together, cautious, but comforted by the light of the resurrection, which will make the darkness everywhere disappear. The Tourist board regrets that their traditional Easter traditions, including breakfast in the open had to be cancelled again this year, however, they found a way to celebrate.

Local groups dedicated to preserving the tradition, KUD Cetina and the Association for the preservation of the heritage of the Cetina region, as well as the Milardović family, prepared some of the most popular holiday recipes to be presented online.

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Photo by Monika Vrgoč

 

On Holy Thursday, lamb and cabbage are traditionally eaten. On Good Friday, traditionally the fast is observed, and cod, trout and frog are prepared. On Easter itself, the traditionally prepared meals are taken to the church to be blessed. The team brings you some recipes for those, published in one of the seminal books by Dika Marjanović – Radica, “Dalmatian Cooking”.

Sinj arambaši, a speciality protected by UNESCO is always on the table for all holidays, and you can read more about them here.

Local pogača (similar to Italian focaccia) is made as a dessert, with sugar, lemon rind and home-made butter – and is characterised by a lot of kneading it needs to be perfect (the recipe calls for a whole hour of TLC!).

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Photo by Monika Vrgoč

Sinj Ravioli (spelt locally rafioli) are also a dessert, and the dough is filled with ground almonds and chocolate, along with some maraschino liqueur.

Sinj Tourist Board wants us to believe that nothing has really changed, in its core, and that Easter continues to be the victory of faith and love, life over death and light over the darkness.

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Nine Earthquakes in the Adriatic Sea in Last 56 Hours

March 30, 2021 - Nine earthquakes in the Adriatic Sea were recorded in the last 56 hours, felt by citizens from Split to Sinj. 

24 Sata reports that on Monday, March 30, shortly after 10 pm, residents in the wider Split area felt the ground shake. Rattled citizens reported that they felt an earthquake in Split, Kaštela, Glavice, and Sinj

The EMSC reported that the earthquake was 3.1-magnitude on the Richter scale and that the epicenter was 52 kilometers from Vela Luka. And just before it there was a 2.9-magnitude earthquake with an epicenter 30 kilometers from Komiža on Vis.

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"There was a rumble, it shook briefly but strongly," said one witness. "It rumbled for 6-7 seconds and shook briefly," said another. "I was really scared, it shook good," read another. Split singer Marijan Ban even took to Twitter to confirm that he felt the quake, too.

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The first report of the earthquake arrived at 10:20 pm from Kaštel Sućurac. It was the ninth earthquake in the Adriatic Sea in the last 56 hours, the EMSC reported.

A bit later, seismologists from the Seismological Service announced that at 22:17 they recorded an earthquake with an epicenter 3 km south-southeast of Maovici near Vrlika, meaning that the Split area was shaken by three earthquakes just a few minutes apart!

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Over the last few days, several slightly stronger earthquakes have been recorded in the Adriatic Sea, in the waters nea Split. The strongest so far was 5.5-magnitude on the Richter scale.

None of these earthquakes have been strong enough to cause any damage.

The EMSC was established in 1975 on the European Seismological Commission's recommendation, given that the Euro-Mediterranean region showed potentially dangerous seismic activity. It is headquartered in Bruyères le Châtel, a municipality on the southern outskirts of Paris, and is a non-profit NGO.

EMSC uses a unique earthquake detection system thanks to the collaborative work from eyewitnesses and data collection from seismic institutes provided by 85 institutes as members from 56 different countries, thus giving users real-time earthquake information for seismic events. 

To read more about news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Sunday, 28 February 2021

PHOTOS: Eco Action to Clean Illegal Landfills on Our Lady of Sinj Trail

February 28, 2021 - The Sinj Tourist Board helped organized a weekend eco-action to clean up the illegal landfills on the Our Lady of Sinj trail! 

Organized by the City of Sinj, the Sinj Tourist Board, and members of BK Vlaji, PD Svilaja, NOPD Koćari, HGSS station Split, Adventure Sports Club Cetina adventure, PD Sv. Jakov Bitelić and in cooperation with Čistoća Cetinska Krajina, Hrvatske ceste Split, and the support of the Split-Dalmatia County, an ecological action of cleaning illegal landfills on part of the Our Lady of Sinj Trail in the area of Kukuzovac was successfully carried out.

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A second ecological action was held after cleaning and arranging 14 illegal landfills in the area of Hrvace and Sinj in the town of Zelovo. 

Namely, Saturday's environmental action cleaned up illegal landfills located on the Our Lady of Sinj Trail in the area of Sinj (Kukuzovac). Recall that the Our Lady of Sinj project (completed in 2015) arranged a 148 km long pilgrimage path that connects the Marian shrines from Solin to Our Lady of Sinj and further towards the shrine on Šćit (Prozor - Rama in BiH).

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Unfortunately, parts of the trail have been devastated as well as the accompanying infrastructure. Therefore, last year, Split-Dalmatia County initiated a project to revitalize the Our Lady of Sinj trail to repair the destroyed infrastructure and develop and implement a marketing plan. The revitalization project will soon be implemented in stages.

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Respecting all valid epidemiological measures, this action was attended by numerous volunteers and nature lovers, members of local mountaineering associations: PD Svilaja, NOPD Koćari, PD Sv. Jakov, members of the Cycling Club Vlaji - Sinj, the Adventure Sports Club Cetina adventure, and several pilgrims from Split who regularly make pilgrimages along the Our Lady of Sinj trail. The action was attended by members of HGSS stations Split, Čistoća Cetinska Krajina, and County Roads Split, without whose employees and mechanization, this action would not be feasible.

This action and the previous one certainly want to contribute to the development of environmental awareness and appeal to responsibility for Sinj's natural and cultural heritage.

The organizers thank everyone who selflessly took their time and helped in this environmental action.

All photos by Monika Vrgoc

To read more about Inland Dalmatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 13 February 2021

Didi s Kamesnice and More Carnival Customs from the Dalmatian Hinterland

February 13, 2021 – Sinj and the Cetina region have long attracted attention with unique and exciting events. One of them is certainly their well-known masquerade festival with 'Didi s Kamesnice', masquerade group from the village of Gljev in the Dalmatian hinterland.

Cetina Region's Masquerade Festival should have been held for the seventh time this year, as well as the centuries-old gatherings of masquerade groups in the Podkamešnica villages, which were supposed to precede the festival and the usual final carnival events. However, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it was all postponed for the next year.

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Millennial photo of the Sinj region masquerades - DIDI / Šime Strikoman

At the Festival, numerous masquerade groups present themselves to the general public in one place. The result is a lively, cheerful, colorful, and noisy procession that maintains a long tradition, according to carefully and strictly established rules.

Croatian protected intangible heritage

Masquerades are the best bearers and guardians of carnival customs in the Cetina region. After the Holy Three Kings' feast on January 6, they set out on visits to villages and hamlets. They are even included on the list of protected intangible cultural goods of the Republic of Croatia, which testifies how precious they are.

Podkamešnička villages are villages at the foot of Kamešnica mountain located on Croatia's border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, near Sinj in the Dalmatian hinterland.

In the villages of Gljev, Han, Obrovac Sinjski, Bajagić, and Gala, masquerade processions are a unique and original way of depicting ancient customs interwoven with the sound of masquerade bells and other accompanying rituals.

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Masquerade procession in Obrovac Sinjski / Monika Vrgoč

In the municipality of Otok, each hamlet has its own masquerade group (Jelašce, Priblaće, Živinice, Gala, Ruda, Udovičići, and occasionally there are groups Glavičica-Priblaće, Strana with masquerades from Ovrlje and Korita). In the town of Trilj, masquerade processions take place in the villages of Grab, Jabuka, Košute, Vedrine, Vrpolje, Čačvina, and Velić.

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Masquerade procession in Otok / Monika Vrgoč

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Masquerade procession in Vrpolje / Monika Vrgoč

Driving away winter and bad spirits

The carnival procession's schedule is based on traditional rules, not subject to any changes, and only men participate in it. At the head is a group of white masquerades and wedding guests, then a group of comedies, and finally, with a certain distance, black masquerades.

The wedding party, which symbolizes the end of winter and spring arrival, was once led by the first grandfather (hrv. dida) and nowadays by the flag bearer (hrv. barjaktar).

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Gljev / Monika Vrgoč

The masculine, pregnant bride, accompanied by a groomsman, is looking for the groom, which is the procession's main "task."

There are also married women, girls, and other wedding characters dressed in formal attire (folk costume).

Turk commands the masquerades, taking care not to mix white and black wedding guests, who must never be in the same place at the same time. The Turk and the aunt's characters are associated with the long presence of the Ottomans in this area.

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Black wedding guests / Monika Vrgoč

Behind the wedding are comedies, a masquerade group that criticizes current social and political topics without sparing criticism.

Grandparents lead black weddings. They are bearers of the fertility cult who, by simulating sexual intercourse, invoke a better and more abundant annual harvest, another indispensable ritual element.

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Grandparents in Gljev / Monika Vrgoč

There are also mourners in the procession, mourning widows who shout funny and comic slogans.

The most attractive and impressive part of the procession are the imposing "didi." They wear sheep's wool up to 1.5 m high on their heads and bells around their waists. They are dressed in old clothes sewn with colorful fringes.

They embody the age-old ritual struggle of good spirits with winter, which they drive away with noise and jumping. With the loud ringing of bells, they cast spells from cattle, which, along with fertility and spring arrival, testifies the most important preoccupations of our ancestors.

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Monika Vrgoč

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Monika Vrgoč

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Ivana Pavičić

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Nikola Belančić

Rich and inspiring carnival tradition

This long tradition of carnival customs, which preserves local identity, is nurtured and promoted by the association "Didi from Kamešnica" from the village of Gljev.

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The Cetina region's carnival festival seeks to popularize the rich tradition of carnival customs, unique in Europe. Although carnival customs with similar themes exist in other parts of Croatia and Europe, they always embody the ritual struggle of good spirits with winter.

Therefore, "Didi" are welcome guests at festivals throughout Croatia and Europe and an inspiring motive for numerous scientific research, exhibitions, and lectures on the topic of intangible heritage. The famous magazine National Geographic brings the unique "Didi s Kamešnice" on one of its covers.

All photos © Sinj Tourist Board

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Tuesday, 2 February 2021

Sinj Tourist Board Presents New Brochure in Our Lady of Sinj's Honor

February 2, 2021 -The Sinj Tourist Board is proud to present a new brochure about the church and the Miraculous Lady of Sinj.

The new edition of the brochure, based on the previous two editions from 1998 and 2008, with the original text by Fr. Božo Vuleta, attracts attention with its unique design signed by esteemed and award-winning local designer Boris Ljubičić, a native of Sinj. The priests of the sanctuary and the designer himself took part in bringing this brochure to life. Selected photographs perfectly complement the text.

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The themes of the new publication include the history of the Franciscans' arrival in this area, centuries of struggle for freedom, sketches of tireless construction, the literal - religious buildings that we know and admire today, and the spiritual - the creation of a community that is the heart of Sinj and Cetina region, but also much wider, like the Marian families; unwavering devotion to the Miraculous Lady of Sinj, artistic and spiritual uniqueness of the church and sanctuary, educational activities of the friars of Sinj, and the unbreakable connection of the Alka and Our Lady. 

The brochure was printed in 3,000 copies, and by the end of March, in addition to the Croatian version, there should be translations in German and English.

Sunday, 31 January 2021

PHOTOS: Environmental Cleanup of Illegal Landfills in Sinj Area

January 31, 2021 - The speleological section of the Sv. Jakov - Bitelić Mountaineering Society, members of HGSS, mountaineering associations, and adventure clubs, in cooperation with the City of Sinj, the Municipality of Hrvace, local and county utilities, and the support of the Sinj Tourist Board, successfully carried out an environmental cleanup of illegal landfills in Sinj (Zelovo) and the municipality of Hrvace.

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At the initiative of the members of the speleological section of the Sv. Jakov - Bitelić Mountaineering Society, an ecological action of cleaning and fixing up 14 illegal landfills in the area of the municipality of Hrvace and the village of Zelovo in Sinj, was proposed. Namely, along the county road Hrvace-Zelovo ("old road"), along which several bicycle and pedestrian paths have been marked (through the Medpaths project), there are numerous illegal landfills where irresponsible individuals have disposed of large quantities of various waste for years. These are quantities that greatly endanger the existing infrastructure (Zelovski most), the natural environment, and aesthetically damage the area, which is increasingly used by many recreationists and tourists who stay in the area.

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Respecting all valid epidemiological measures, this action was attended by numerous volunteers, nature lovers, members of local mountaineering associations: PD Sv. Jakov - Bitelić, PD Svilaja, NOPD Koćari, members of the Cycling Club Vlaji - Sinj and Cetina adventure - Club of Adventure Sports. The action was attended by members of HGSS station Split, members of DVD Sinj, Croatian Forests, and institutions without whose help this action would not be feasible: County Roads Split, County Road Administration, Cleanliness of Cetina region, and Water supply and drainage of Cetina region.

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This action certainly wanted to contribute to environmental awareness and appeal to responsibility for the natural heritage.

The organizers would like to thank everyone who selflessly helped in this extremely demanding environmental action, with the announcement of a similar action soon.

All photos by Nikica Ugrin, Stanka Milošević, and Moniko Vrgoč. 

Thursday, 28 January 2021

Sinj Museum Night: Fully Virtual Program Announced

January 28, 2021 - This year's Sinj Museum Night event will be held on Friday, January 29!

The program at the Sinjska Alka Museum, which will be available from 6 to 11 pm, will be completely virtual. During its duration, two video games and a quiz will be promoted, a virtual walk around the Museum will be organized, as well as a quiz prize game, in which the winner will be chosen from those who answer most questions.

The information will be posted via Instagram and Facebook.

Museum Night Program 2021

The virtual game 'In the middle' is a simulation of the Alka competition. The player rides a horse and tries to hit "in the middle" and collect as many points as possible.

More info HERE

Battle of 1715 is a strategic game for several players, one of whom is on the side of the Ottomans, and the other on the side of Alkars. Through clever strategy, players try to incapacitate the enemy or conquer the Fortress.

More info HERE

Koliko punata? is an online quiz in which players can test their knowledge of the history and culture related to the Sinjska Alka with friends, acquaintances, and others on the Internet!

More info HERE

Virtual walk - On the www.alka.hr website, with a large number of photos and information about Sinjska Alka, the Alka Knights Society Sinj and the Sinjska Museum, you can take a virtual walk through the Museum.

More info HERE

To read moe about Inland Dalmatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.  

 

Monday, 21 December 2020

VIDEO: Unique Christmas Tree Decorated Inside Pit on Vrdovo

December 21, 2020 - Organized by members of the Speleo section of the Sv. Jakov Mountaineering Society from Bitelić, on Saturday, December 19, a unique Christmas tree was decorated inside a pit on Vrdovo, about 30 meters deep.

The Dinaric area is full of sinkholes, hidden pits, and caves, which, unfortunately, are often targeted by irresponsible individuals. Instead of serving a natural purpose, they are often turned into illegal landfills of various types of waste. However, the speleological section PD Sv. Jakov, in cooperation with numerous colleagues from all over Croatia, organized several ecological actions to clean the pits throughout the year to preserve them.

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This seemingly unusual year has prevented the organization from numerous cultural and sporting events and competitions, but as we find ourselves in anticipation of Christmas, the happiest Catholic holiday, members of the speleological section of Sv. Jakov contributed to this year's Christmas mood in a truly unique way.

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Namely, the members decorated a Christmas tree and recorded a video inside the pit, about 30 meters deep, wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy and successful New Year.

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