Monday, 20 June 2022

307th Sinjska Alka Preparations Begin!

June 20, 2022 - The 307th Sinjska Alka will be held on August 7, 2022 - and preparations on the grandstand have already begun! 

Sinjska Ulica Alkarsko trkalište has been closed to all traffic since Monday as they assemble stands for the 307th Sinjska Alka, which will be held on August 7 under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Croatia, Zoran Milanović, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

The installation of the 5,200-seat grandstand and the dirt track on which Alkars will gallop atop Alkar horses should be completed by July 15 at the latest. On that day, the arrival of Alkars at the racetrack is planned to practice hitting their Alkar targets as the last phase of preparations for this year's celebration.

As every year, due to the closure of Alka Racecourse, motor vehicle traffic is diverted to other city streets.

Mario Šušnjara will make his debut in the role of the Alkar duke at this year's Sinjska Alka. Vojvoda Šušnjara invited 36 candidates, including several trainees, to prepare for this year's event. On July 1, they will complete the first part of the preparations through which they practice riding and adapting to the horses.

The Duke will then make the first selection, so about 30 candidates will remain in the further course of preparations. The last selection will be at the beginning of the Alkar week, when Šušnjara, with the help of Ivica Filipović Grčić, will determine 17 Alkar men who will compete to win the 307th Sinjska Alka, the Duke's adjutant, flag bearers and five flag attendants. The Alkar boys, led for the 17th year in a row by Ivo Vukasović Parin, will begin preparations at the beginning of Alkar Week.

Preparations for the Alka, Bara, and Čoja will be supervised by the Honorary Court, which includes Boško Vladović, President and members Dr. Tomislav Župić and Mladen Pletikosić Micko. Their task is to insist on observing the Alka regulations and customs that have been passed down for centuries and which make the Sinjska Alka. 

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Alka Knights Society Invited to Macron Meeting at in Zagreb!

November 25, 2021 - The Alka Knights Society will attend a gala lunch with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Esplanade in Zagreb!

Hajduk is not the only association from Dalmatia that received an invitation to a gala lunch with French President Emmanuel Macron. Representatives of the Alka Knights Society received an invitation on Wednesday to join the French president at the Esplanade table in Zagreb! 

"We are extremely honored by the invitation, and we will gladly respond. As urgent obligations personally prevented me, I decided that Dr. Ivan Nasić, secretary of the Alka Knights Society, would go to the festive lunch. In the ceremonial uniform, President Macron would be greeted by Alkar Andrija Hrgović and Alkar boy Ivan Vučković. We hope to welcome President Macron's birthday in France as well," the president of the Alka Knights Society, Dr. Stipe Jukić, said for Slobodna Dalmacija

Jukić's hope of meeting with President Macron in France is about the expected presentation of the Sinj Alka in Versailles. The Alka's first visit to France was agreed in detail before the Croatian presidency of the EU, as part of Croatia's cultural and historical presentation to Europe. In addition to the ceremonial parade of the entire Alka procession in the area of the historic French castle, the Alkars were to demonstrate the course of their knightly game.

Unfortunately, this did not happen due to epidemiological measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, as the French hosts liked the idea, the invitation remained open as soon as the conditions were created. In Sinj, they reckon that if the pandemic subsides, the Alkars could parade through Versailles in the spring of next year, and then, they believe, they would undoubtedly be able to greet the main host, President Macron.

"The Alka Knights Society was founded in 1715, and today it acts as an association of citizens.

The main activity of the Society is to organize the Alka Tournament of Sinj. A great number of volunteers care about the work of the Society (Assembly, Governing Board, Supervisory Board, Court of Honour). The members of the Society are exclusively of local origin. The Alka Knights Society is the owner of two trading companies – Alka marketing d.o.o. and Alkarska ergela d.o.o.

In 1979 the Alka Knights Society collection of uniforms, equipment and weapons was declared a monument of the highest category. In 2007 the Alka of Sinj was entered in the Register of Croatian Cultural Monuments, and on 16th of November, 2010 it was included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity," reads the Alka website.

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Sunday, 8 August 2021

Debutant Mihovil Župa Wins 306th Sinjska Alka!

August 8, 2021 - Debutant Mihovil Župa is the winner of the 306th Sinjska Alka, which was held on Sunday afternoon in the Inland Dalmatian town of Sinj. 

Mihovil Župa thus won the 306th Sinjska Alka with three hits 'u sridu' (in the middle) with five hits 'in two'.

This year, 17 Alkars competed, including four debutants. With this event, the people of Sinj mark an important moment in their history, when they defended themselves from the invasion of the Ottoman Empire.

The Alka festivities were attended by the Croatian state leadership, the President of the Republic Zoran Milanović, who is also the patron of the Sinjska Alka, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia Andrej Plenković, and the President of the Croatian Parliament Gordan Jandroković. Among others, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Croatian Veterans Tomo Medved, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Gordan Grlić Radman, and Minister of Agriculture Marija Vučković were present.

Furthermore, Olympic gold medalist Martin Sinković (half of the celebrated Sinković brothers), taekwondo gold medalist Matea Jelić, and bronze medalist Toni Kanaet were also present and received a standing ovation from the crowd when their attendance was announced at the beginning of the event. 

Due to epidemiological circumstances, this year's Sinjska Alka was held with a limited number of spectators.  

Sinjska Alka is a Croatian knight's game held every year on a Sunday in August, in Sinj, to mark the anniversary of the victory over the Turkish invaders on August 14, 1715. On that day, 700 Croatian soldiers from Sinj, with the protection of their patron saint, the Miraculous Lady of Sinj, heroically resisted and managed to repel the onslaught of Turkish serasker Mehmed-pasha Celic's army, which was made up of 60,000 soldiers.

On November 15, 2010, Sinjska Alka was inscribed on the UNESCO list of intangible world heritage in Europe.

More soon...

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Sunday, 18 July 2021

Sinjska Alka Lancing Tournament to Take Place on 8 August

ZAGREB, 18 July, 2021 - This year's Sinjska Alka lancing tournament will be held in the southern town of Sinj on 8 August in accordance with the COVID-19 measures in place.

Up to 5,000 spectators will be allowed into the race track area provided that they meet the epidemiological requirements, namely that they have a COVID vaccination certificate or a document proving that they have recovered from COVID-19 in the last six months or a negative PCR test not older than 72 hours, Alka Knights Society president Stipe Jukić said earlier this week.

The Sinjska Alka tournament commemorates a victory over 60,000 Ottoman soldiers on 14 August 1715 by 700 Croatian defenders of Sinj, about 30 kilometres inland from the southern coastal city of Split.

The final of this three-day competition is held on the first weekend in August. The event features period-clad horsemen riding at full gallop and aiming their lances at an iron ring, called the alka, which is suspended from a rope above the race track.

The Sinjska Alka tournament was inscribed on UNESCO's world intangible cultural heritage list in 2010.

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Saturday, 17 July 2021

2021 Sinjska Alka and Velika Gospa Announced in Sinj Next Month!

July 17, 2021 - The 2021 Sinjska Alka and Velika Gospa events have been announced in Sinj for next month! 

Thanks to the traditionally rich and diverse program of the umbrella event, Alka Days and the Assumption, this summer in Sinj will be lively and full of hats. Despite the difficult and uncertain times we are in, the Alka city is ready and hospitable to welcome its guests, offering interesting events among which everyone will find something for themselves.

The summer of events will be opened on July 16 by the great jazz band Black Coffee in the unique space of Alkarski dvori (Alka courtyard). The former Venetian quarters are an exceptional ambient stage - they will host a summer music school, numerous performances, and concerts, and it is worth mentioning the play 'The Battle of Sinj in 1715' (August 12), which faithfully and effectively revives the circumstances of the glorious battle that determined the history of Sinj.

A favorite setting with the starry sky and Old Town in the background, musical notes will also take off on summer nights at Kamičak. On August 21, as part of the Musical Evenings at Kamičak, four fantastic saxophonists, Papandopulo Quartet and Split jazz duo Željko Brodarić Jappa and Sara Brodarić, known as Sara & Jappa, will take the stage. A week later, on August 28 and 29, guests will enjoy the Kamičak Ethno Festival. The artistic eco-installation Kašetarnica, organized by the UPSUS association, will take place in Kamičak and the City Park from August 27 to 29.

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Željko Zrnčić

Apart from the central events - the Alka festivities on August 6, 7, and 8 and the Feast of the Assumption - it is important not to miss the oldest children's Vučković Alka and many exhibitions and literary presentations.

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Ivan Alebic

You should definitely mark your calendar for August 6 and 7 for the traditional and popular Sinj Village Fair. In addition to the permanent exhibition and excellent gastronomic offer, you can experience the spirit of the past through workshops of precious old crafts that should not be forgotten - skilled blacksmiths, wool processing skills, pottery, and more. Visitors will surely be delighted by the performances of bands Kopito, Ljuta kuća, Guiliana, and Diktatori and colorful local cultural and artistic societies.

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

Friday, 18 September 2020

VIDEOS: Amazing New Google Project Shows Croatian Culture to the World

September 18, 2020 - Incredible new video series explore Croatian culture, its natural assets, and the country's rich traditions, a collaboration with Google

Steeped in history and tradition, Croatian culture is incredibly diverse. Recognised as being of high value to the country's appeal and its understanding of itself, many items from this rich heritage appear on the protected UNESCO list.

The Croatian National Tourist Board has teamed up with Google Arts & Culture and partners The Museum of Arts and the Museum of the Sinjska alka to produce an incredible series of videos that explore this cultural heritage.

From arts & crafts to music and dance, natural assets and architecture, the new videos show off the rich menu of traditions assets that make Croatia such an incredible country. With so many items included on the protected UNESCO list, there's always something more you can learn about Croatia, no matter how many times you visit.

Lace-making, costumes of folklore, ancient instruments, time-honoured recipes, beloved festivities and distinct, regional styles of music are just some of the facets of Croatian culture explored in the videos. Now, people from all over the world can explore Croatian culture and heritage before they even arrive. The menu of videos and accompanying media is presented in both English and Croatian.

Some of the videos in the series are not new, but they have been selected by the Croatian National Tourist Board for inclusion as they are the best at showcasing their particular aspect of Croatian culture. Alongside the video presentations, there are a wealth of photographs and informative texts. You can view the whole new collaboration with Google Arts & Culture here

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Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Croatian Film Crew Coincidence Picture Production Filmed Documentary in Sinj

August 18, 2020 - The Croatian film crew Coincidence Picture Production shot a documentary during the Alka and the Assumption of Mary in the Sinj area.

Coincidence Picture Production, i.e., producer and director Elvis Bilalic, was included in the list of world-renowned professional filmmakers in 2019, thanks to the production of the documentary Say Yes to Happiness! With the mentioned film, shot in 2018 in Kenya, Dubai and Sweden, they won the first place in the competition of international documentary film at the Around International Film Festival - Berlin in 2019.

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They arrived in Sinj to shoot the documentary Waterways (Putevi Vode).

The project includes 29 rivers and 17 natural lakes, which include national parks, nature parks and water and areas under special protection. Filming began at the source of the river Mirna in the smallest town in the world, Hum, after which the film crew went on a journey through the remaining destinations to the last and smallest river Ombla in the Dubrovnik area. They stayed in the town of Sinj during the Alka festivities on August 9 and 10, and on August 14 on the eve of the celebration of the Assumption of Mary. 

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Through a Documentary Film project, Waterways seeks to defy oblivion, recalling instructive information about flora and fauna of the beautiful landscapes of the Republic of Croatia, but also its autochthonous, resourceful and cheerful inhabitants along rivers and lakes. This project also aims to contribute to the preservation of high-quality values of our natural resources and through the lives of people in those areas to penetrate the hearts of viewers, both nationally and globally.

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The criterion according to which the script was made included the recording of natural lakes and rivers that begin and end in the Republic of Croatia, with the documentation of exceptional, autochthonous life stories and the development of the environments in question throughout history. In the area of Sinj, recognizable at the national level and beyond the Alka and the celebration of the Assumption of Mary, the patron saint of the city, the Coincidence Picture Production team filmed, among others, the Miletin spring, the Petrovac fountain, the Mostina mill (Milardovic family) on Han as well as the preparation of Sinj arambaš (restaurant Dubrovnik).

Namely, during the filming of the documentary, famous chef Zlatan Molnar from the show "3, 2, 1 - cook!" prepared specialties characteristic of different areas of Croatia.

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Historical determinants important for irrigation and water supply of the city of Sinj were presented by professors Velimir Borkovic, author of numerous publications on water and the city of Sinj, Branimir Zupic, curator of the Museum of Sinj Alka and Danijela Banovic Petricevic, curator of the Museum of Cetina Krajina in Sinj. Adventure sports, like kayaking down the Cetina and hiking in our mountains, was introduced by Ante Romac, an adventurer and mountaineer, who passed the entire Via Dinarica, while Marko Vukovic arranged a carriage ride through the city to the Miletin source.

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It should be noted that this extremely creative six-member film crew, due to the volume of museum material and rich intangible cultural heritage of the Cetina region, is coming to Sinj again to shoot additional material to complete the rich film material for the documentary.

With this commendable project, the City of Sinj will get an exciting promotion, especially because this film will be screened at international film festivals. The Sinj Tourist Board is one of the sponsors of this documentary.

The Sinj Tourist Board would like to thank Hit Radio, which hosted a part of the team on its show, as well as everyone who selflessly helped to achieve a successful recording in the area of the city of Sinj.

 

 

Sunday, 9 August 2020

Ivo Zorica Named Winner of 305th Sinjska Alka!

August 9, 2020 - The 305th Sinjska Alka was held on Sunday in Sinj, under strict epidemiological measures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Slobodna Dalmacija reports that the Sinjska Alka is a well-known Croatian knight's game, established in memory of the great victory of the Venetian army and the people of the Cetina region over the Ottomans on August 14, 1715. Seventeen Alkars competed in the Alka on Sunday, and the Alka festivities were held under special circumstances due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sinj Alka was attended by President Zoran Milanovic, president of the Croatian Parliament Gordan Jandrokovic, and Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, as well as a number of ministers. 

Instead of the usual 5,000+ spectators lined along the Alka track, this year, there were only 1,400 spectators in the stands. All spectators had to give their name, surname and telephone number so that epidemiologists could do their job more easily should an outbreak occur.

The Alka duke signaled to start 305th Sinjska Alka just before 5 pm. Frano Ivkovic, the winner of the 304th Sinjska Alka, was the first to go, though his attempt was unsuccessful.

Ivo Zorica was named the winner of the Sinjska Alka on Sunday, after accumulating seven points on the legendary racetrack. After the third round, he escaped debutants Martin Susnjari and Nenad Maric.

Ivo Zorica was born in 1983, and according to his education, he is an economic technician employed at the PBZ branch in Sinj. He is married to Monica, with whom he has a son and a daughter, and comes from the famous Zorica family as the second Alkar. Accompanied by the flag, he made his debut in 2000, and in 2002 he became an Alkar spearman. From 2006 to 2013, he was the deputy alaj čauš.

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

 

Friday, 7 August 2020

Everything Ready for 305th Sinjska Alka!

August 7, 2020 - Everything is ready for the 305th Sinjska Alka, which will be held this Sunday in Sinj, under special epidemiological measures and corona rules.

Due to the epidemic, the Alkars trained separately, and the number of spectators in the stands has been reduced. The knights' competition is preceded by the Bara, which is scheduled for today, and the Čoja, which runs on Saturday.

There are no tickets on sale this time around, and the only hotel in the Sinj region is almost completely filled with guests. Small renters in the Sinj region, which lives for the Alka, are also satisfied with the reservations. This year is no exception.

The last dress rehearsal before the competition was held on the Alka track in Sinj on Thursday. RTL's Jelena Tešija was there with one of the organizers. You can see the video here.

Sinj claims they will not become a new coronavirus focus.

"Not at all, because we implemented all the recommendations and agreements we had with the national and county headquarters so that we had two groups in the preparation of the Alkars themselves, and we reduced the number of spectators to one quarter at the track. Therefore, it will be very small, almost impossible to spread infection," said Stipe Jukic, president of the Alka Knights Society Sinj.

"We divided Alkars into two groups: groups A and B of 15 each, so we adhere to the measures. If one group becomes infected and ends up in self-isolation, there is another that can do Alka to the very end, because according to the statute, the minimum number is 11 to do Alka," said Ivica Filipovic-Grcic.

In the end, 17 of the best were selected, among them one debutant.

To be sure no corona spreads, there will be no reception or a traditional celebration.

"All events that are otherwise in preparation of the Alka, and lead to gathering a larger number of people, have in some way been canceled," said Jukic.

The Sinjska Alka has run since 1715, both in war and in peace, but rarely in such circumstances.

"It was rescheduled once during an epidemic, as it was during cholera in 1855, so instead it took place in October," said Monika Vrgoc, director of the Sinj Tourist Board.

The 305th Sinjska Alka will be held on Sunday and will be followed by the entire state leadership.

Source: Dalmacija Danas, RTL

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Saturday, 1 August 2020

305th Sinjska Alka to Allow Maximum 1,000 Spectators

August 1, 2020 - This year's 305th Sinjska Alka, which will take place on August 9, will be limited to a maximum of 1,000 spectators, and tickets will not be on sale, says the Alka Knights Society.

Slobodna Dalmacija reports that this news was decided by the Board of Directors of the Alka Knights Society. The Alka administration concluded that, due to prescribed and recommended epidemiological measures caused by the COVID 19 pandemic, it will organize this year's Alka much different than before, which includes a significant reduction in the number of seats in the stands.

The number of spectators will be limited to all three final performances, the Bara, Coja and Alka itself. How the tickets will be distributed and for how many spectators, the Alka administration will decide later, all in agreement with epidemiologists.

Representatives of the Alka Knights and the Civil Protection Headquarters of Sinj spoke about the organization of this year's Alka with the leadership of the National Civil Protection Headquarters, i.e., with the Director of the Headquarters and Deputy Prime Minister Davor Bozinovic and his associates.

Due to the escalation of new coronavirus cases in the Sinj area, epidemiologists believed that this year's Alka should be held without an audience.

In the Alka ranks, it was estimated that at best, every second or third seat could be used in the stands. Epidemiologists are by no means inclined to do so, so they accepted that there should be a maximum of a thousand spectators in the Alka stands, properly distributed.

Keeping the distance will also be reflected in the composition of the ceremonial Alka Lodge. There will certainly be places for the main guests: President Zoran Milanovic, who is also the patron of the 305th Alka, President of the Croatian Parliament Gordan Jandrokovic, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and the most prominent representative of the military and church authorities, as well as hosts Stipe Jukic, President of Alkar Knights Society, and Kristina Krizanac, Mayor of Sinj.

These seven persons, who should have a place in the first row, will occupy only a small part of the spacious ceremonial lodge, as there will certainly be other dignitaries, but in much smaller numbers than in previous years.

The Board of Directors of the Alka Knights Society calls on the citizens of Sinj and the Alka region, as well as the arriving guests, to implement the recommended epidemiological measures with full responsibility so that the 305th Alka festivities are held in a festive, albeit specific atmosphere, and so that due to the irresponsible behavior of individuals, they would not become the focus of the spread of the virus.

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