Friday, 22 July 2022

Sinj Tourist Board Info Center Opens ahead of Alka and Assumption Festivities

July 22, 2022 - The Sinj Tourist Board Info Center is now open every day ahead of the Sinjska Alka and Assumption festivities! 

An increasing number of foreign and domestic tourists arrive in Sinj every day. As every year, their number will culminate during the Alka and Assumption celebrations, when hundreds of thousands of guests are expected. Therefore, it is imperative to provide them with a feeling of welcome and timely information.


To better inform tourists, the Sinj Tourist Board opened a Tourist Information Center (TIC) on July 20, on Šetalište Street, bl. Alojzija Stepinca 2. They are working from an extremely visible and attractive space (the former office of Alka Marketing) located near the Church of the Miraculous Lady of Sinj, next to a park with busts of Sinj's most famous people and the Tripalo Palace. Informants from the Sinj Tourist Board will distribute promotional materials and inform tourists about the offers in the city and the surrounding towns.


The jobs performed by the info center staff, in addition to providing information in direct contact with visitors, also include collecting and updating feedback from tourists who have stayed in the city, all to improve the current tourist offer and infrastructure in the town and its surrounding areas. 

The tourist information center will be open from Monday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, and in the high season (August), every day from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. 

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Friday, 8 July 2022

2022 Alka Days and Velika Gospa Festivities Presented!

July 8, 2022 - The Sinj Tourist Board announced the 2022 Alka Days and Velika Gospa festivities this summer!

July has arrived and the lively Sinj summer is in the air. The umbrella event of Alka Days and the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (Velika Gospa) this year again comes with many events with which the ever-hospitable people of Sinj will delight their guests. In addition to the unmissable 307th Alka festivities and Velika Gospa, locals and tourists will enjoy concerts, exhibitions, sports and humanitarian activities, theater performances, book presentations, and various other events. The entire city becomes an open stage with something for everyone's taste.



Let's highlight just a few!

The favorite City Music, without which no celebration is complete, is celebrating 160 years of existence this year. In addition to the concert, an accompanying exhibition will also be opened. Various notes will fly into the Sinj night - several classical concerts by young musicians from Sinj, virtuoso jazz performances at the Kamičak fortress, which is also the backdrop of the Kamičak Ethno Festival, the traditional rock festival SARS, the metal music festival Nebesa metalFest, and the indispensable and always popular klapa singing.


Ivan Alebic

Don't miss the great Sinj village fair and stock up on original traditional products, and at the folklore evening, remember the old times and good customs, and definitely immerse yourself in the historical 1715 Battle of Sinj spectacle, this year with even more striking sound and light effects.

You can see the program below: 
















To read more about sports in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

Friday, 13 August 2021

Velika Gospa COVID-19 Measures Around Croatia: No Procession in Sinj, Masks in Trsat

August 13, 2021 - Velika Gospa COVID-19 measures are being prepared around Croatia. While Erdut will not limit the number of pilgrims, Sinj will not hold a procession for the second year in a row, and Trsat will recommend masks even at outdoor mass. 

Preparations are underway to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption (Velika Gospa). The largest number of believers is expected in Sinj, Marija Bistrica, Aljmaš, and Trsat. 

"It is, as we know, the most visited day in our sanctuary by pilgrims who will flow into this valley from all sides like a river," said Rev. Ante Markić, pastor of the Shrine of Our Lady of Refuge for Dnevnik Nova TV.

The number of pilgrims is not limited, but the celebration, as last year, takes place under epidemiological measures. One of them is the ban on touching the statue and the painting.

"There will definitely be a disinfectant next to drinking water, and we ask citizens to adhere to the measures and to think of themselves and everyone else who comes after them," said Darko Barjaktarevic from the Erdut Tourist Board.

"Masks are only taken off when pilgrims find their place."

Special measures will also apply to the Shrine of Our Lady of Trsat.

"While the faithful are moving, even though all the masses are outside in Trsat, they must wear, or it is recommended, to wear masks. And when they find their place, when they sit down, they can take it off," said Krunoslav Kocijan, guardian of the Shrine of Our Lady of Trsat.

There will be no procession in Sinj again.

"Unfortunately, this is impossible to achieve if we want to be responsible, if we want to save as many people as possible from infection or, God forbid, from death," said Fr. Ante Čovo, guardian of the Franciscan Monastery of Our Lady of Sinj.

One of the specifics of the shrines in Sinj and Aljmaš is touching Our Lady's image or statue. "It is strictly forbidden on these occasions," Čovo noted.

"I always emphasize that even when there was no corona. They can perform their devotion without touching it," believes Ante Markić, pastor of the Shrine of Our Lady of Refuge.

For everything to go well, Friar Kocijan urges the faithful to adhere to epidemiological recommendations.

"We will not count how many people will come; everyone is welcome," concluded Kocijan.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

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.


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.


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.


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

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.


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.


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.


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.



Thursday, 13 August 2020

Velika Gospa Procession Canceled: Assumption of Mary Program Held Under New Rules

August 13, 2020 -  Despite the coronavirus epidemic, the town of Sinj successfully maintained the continuity of Alka festivities, but can they do the same for Velika Gospa? A new program has been announced.

Slobodna Dalmacija reports that the Assumption of Mary will be observed from two focuses - the organization of the feast and religious ceremonies that include pilgrimages, meeting the image of Our Lady, confession, and the celebration of Holy Mass. The latter is, in fact, the meaning of the faithful's visit to Our Lady of Sinj.

In the first part, significant changes have already taken place concerning the established practice of recent decades. Ante Covo, the Guardian of Sinj, emphasized that the celebration of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary will be celebrated "in a slightly different form".

Thus, from July 26 to August 16, the Franciscans of Sinj celebrate all Holy Masses in the monastery yard, and through video walls, the faithful can participate in Masses in the premises of the church and the convent. Singing is shortened during Holy Mass, and choirs sing from the church choir.

The most significant change relates to the traditional central procession through the city in which the image of Our Lady is carried on the holiday. This, unfortunately, has been canceled this year. The Franciscans say they have canceled the procession "in order to avoid provocation and, God forbid, be a hotbed of contagion."

In order to reduce the gathering of a larger number of believers at certain hours, on August 14 and 15, Holy Mass will be held almost every hour. Hand disinfection is mandatory at the entrance to the convent, and wearing masks is also recommended. While waiting in line for communion, a distance is kept, and it is recommended to be with family members and to avoid socializing with strangers.

Pilgrims arriving in Sinj and local believers generally adhere to all measures and recommendations. During the past ten days, a river of people has already passed through Sinj, although in several times smaller numbers than before.

It can be assumed that due to caution and justified fear of the virus, this year's number of pilgrims to the shrine of Our Lady of Sinj will be significantly lower. The previous religious gatherings in the church of Our Lady of Sinj were not the focus of the infection. The hope remains that this will be the case after the Assumption of Mary. 

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


Friday, 24 July 2020

Velika Gospa: Assumption of Mary in Sinj to be Held without Procession

July 24, 2020 - Due to epidemiological reasons, the traditional procession through the city streets of Sinj for the Assumption of Mary on August 15 will not be held, revealed the Franciscan monastery of Our Lady of Sinj on Thursday evening.

"We will organize this year's celebration of the Assumption without a big procession through the city, attended by thousands of people from different parts of our beautiful country, to avoid provocation, and God forbid, to be a hotbed of infection," read a statement signed by monastery guard Ante Covo, as reported by Slobodna Dalmacija.

It warns that we are celebrating this year's celebration of the Assumption in "unprecedented circumstances because we are surrounded by an invisible enemy, COVID-19, which threatens us." However, they say, that the parish, under the protection of the Miraculous Lady of Sinj, has been almost unscathed during this epidemic.

In order to reduce the gathering of a larger number of believers in certain hours of the day, they will have Holy Mass almost every hour on August 14 and 15, and invited the faithful to carefully read the posters and choose the best time to attend Mass.

During Holy Mass, as stated, only the changing parts will be sung: the entrance song, the singing of the psalm, hallelujah, the gift, the communion, and the closing song, and the choirs will sing from the church choir.

The Sacrament of Penance will be accessible in the cloister and the monastery courtyard under the aisle, so that there are as few believers as possible in one closed space.

"During the holidays, listen carefully to the instructions of the Civil Protection Headquarters. Be sure to disinfect your hands at the entrance to the church and the cloister and, if the measure remains in force, wear a mask.

Stick to those measures that the Church recommends: take communion only by hand, do not give a sign of peace, try to keep a distance while you go or wait for Communion, during Mass, be with those who are from your family and your environment, avoid socializing with strangers, and if you do not feel well, stay at home," continued the statement of the Franciscan Monastery of Our Lady of Sinj.

This year's celebration of the Assumption is celebrated under the motto "Our Lady, be our salvation."

"May he save us from all that we could harm ourselves and others. May he lead us on a path that will soften everyone's hearts, open hands, strengthen faith, strengthen hope and lead everything to effective love," the Sinj monastery concluded.

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


Friday, 16 August 2019

VIDEO: Woman Dressed as Virgin Mary on Paddle Board in Rijeka

When you think of a religious experience and witnessing the one and only Virgin Mary appear, you probably think of it happening in Međugorje or in some other holy place, and you likely imagine it happening when you're alone and then nobody believing you. You certainly don't think of her appearing on a paddle board among numerous swimmers on a beach in Rijeka.

As Morski writes on the 16th of August, 2019, yesterday, the Virgin Mary "appeared" to swimmers on Morski prasac beach in Rijeka. Namely, a woman dressed as the Virgin Mary on a paddle board drifted along in silence between those present and thus managed to produce different reactions. Some thought it was funny and creative, others of course found it offensive.

While some viewed the Virgin Mary's ''appearance'' on a paddle board at a beach as a funny joke, others found it disgusting and extremely offensive, and others saw it as a mere marketing ploy. Morski tried to find out the real reasons for this somewhat unusual performance from its organiser, but they didn't get an answer.

What we do know is that this is a performance organised by Kantrida FKK 2020 - European Quarter of Culture.

In the meantime, the Facebook post which showcased the Virgin Mary floating along on her trusty paddle board has disappeared, possibly due to less pleasant reactions from people who didn't see the humour in the performance.

Still, thankfully a video was captured by one of Morski's reader from Rijeka who took everything as a joke and was pleasantly surprised by the Virgin Mary's appearance on the Rijeka beach, and let's be honest, who wouldn't be?

Watch the video here:

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.

Friday, 16 August 2019

VIDEO: Thousands of Believers Celebrate Velika Gospa in Sinj

August 16, 2019 - The Assumption of Mary, or Velika Gospa for those of us in Croatia, is celebrated on August 15.

Thousands of believers formed what looked like a human anthill as they made their way to the city of Our Lady to celebrate the Assumption of Mary, or what Croatians know better as Velika Gospa, on August 15. Sinj boasts the largest Mary shrine in southern Croatia and has celebrated Our Lady of Sinj for more than three centuries, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

The inhabitants of the Alka city and the region opened their hearts and welcomed pilgrims from all over the world, who also got to enjoy the Sinj City Park which was transformed into an open-air restaurant where thousands of suckling pigs and lambs were roasted. 

According to the long tradition, on Thursday, a central celebration was held in honor of Our Lady of Sinj with a traditional procession through the streets of the Alka city, in which the image of Our Lady was proudly carried, led by Marin Barišić, Archbishop of Split-Makarska and Metropolitan. Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković even participated in the procession.

The celebration on Thursday morning is individually the largest gathering of worshipers of Our Lady of Sinj, and if viewed only by the number of those gathered, it is by far the largest shrine to Mary in Croatia. While it’s hard to have an exact estimate, it is safe to say that between 50 and 80 thousand believers participated in the celebration. 

Believers came from near and far - like Karlo Jurišić who joined from Argentina, where he was born 60 years ago. 

“So far, I have come to Croatia 5-6 times and every time I come to the church of Our Lady of Sinj because my barba is Fr. Gabriel Jurišić. In Argentina, we celebrate the Assumption of Mary, but not as spiritually as here,” said Karlo.

“I came from Australia. Since Croatia’s independence, I have come every year, and I do not miss the celebration of Our Lady of Sinj. I visit relatives in Vojnić, I met with my cousin Ivica Križanec in Sinj, now I will walk the procession, and soon go back to Australia,” said Jozo Bajić.

“Since 1976, I have made 37 pilgrimages to Our Lady of Sinj on foot. I had only missed it when I had pressing commitments,” said Split-Dalmatia County prefect Blaženko Boban.

Marija Budimir Bekan from Turjaka was among the oldest pilgrims to Our Lady of Sinj.

“I was born in the Mirčet family in Dicmo in 1931, and I married in Turjaka to my late husband, Ivo Budimir Bekan. I was first taken to Our Lady when I was five. Since then, every year, I come to greet Our Lady of Sinj on the Assumption. She's our sweet mother. If it hadn't been for her, if she hadn't defended and protected us, none of us would be here today,” said Marija.

The procession on Thursday formed at King Tomislav Square. After the church bells rang, the priests removed the image of Our Lady from her altar and carried it to the main church door where it was passed onto Alkars and Alkar boys. In front of Our Lady's image were members of the Croatian Army, police, firefighters, Sinj City Music, members of the KUDs in folk costumes, Homeland War associations, nuns, representatives of civil authorities, ministers and just before the image, the archbishop and priests. Behind Our Lady's image was a crowd of believers. When the procession arrived in front of the Municipal Court building, it paused briefly to bless all four sides, according to the established tradition.

The painting was propped on the temporary altar in Dr. Franjo Tudjman Square to begin the solemn mass, with the assistance of dozens of priests, led by Marin Barišić. The solemn Eucharist in honor of the heavenly mother of Sinj was celebrated by the parish choir of Our Lady of Sinj, led by Jura Zupić and sister Jelena Mijić.

Ante Čovo sent commendable greetings and thanks to those gathered. At the very end of the solemn mass, the blessing of Our Lady's image was shared. After the national anthem, Our Lady's image was returned to her altar.

According to the estimates of the priests, about 50,000 believers participated in the procession, and it was expected that up to 100,000 believers from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and all parts of the world were in Sinj on Thursday for the festivities. 

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

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Travel Agencies, Journalists and AIESEC Students in Sinj for Alka and Velika Gospa

August 14, 2019 - During the Alka and the Assumption (Velika Gospa), many representatives of tourist agencies, journalists, as well as students from the largest student network AIESEC visited Sinj. 

As part of the ongoing tourism promotion of the Croatian National Tourist Board and the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board, in cooperation with the Sinj Tourist Board, Slovenian journalists Darko Urško Longyk and Primož Longyka, the editor of Focusplus, a magazine specializing in travel lovers of adrenaline and active rest, stayed in Sinj on August 4 and 5.

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Darja Urško Longyk and Primož Longyk were accompanied by tourist guide Dino Ivančić and director of the Sinj Tourist Board Monika Vrgoč, who introduced them to the geographical, historical and cultural features of the city, the shrine of the Miraculous Lady of Sinj, the Alka and the significance of Sinj locally and nationally. During their stay in Sinj, they visited the Museum of the Sinj Alka, the Church of the Miraculous Lady of Sinj, the Sinj City fortress and the Kamičak fort. They followed the parade of 28 historical military units and the 304th Sinj Alka. 


August 5th was booked for outdoor activities, and accompanied by Vedran Ugrin of the Alkar Hotel, they became acquainted with a part of the Cetina region, moving along thematic trails towards the Svilaja mountain, touring the places from Pavić Nebesa to Lučane,  Zelovo, Svilaju, Satrić, Bitelić, Perućko jezero, Panj, Rumin, Bajagić, Obrovac Sinjski – Han and along the river Cetina through the Sinj field.

In continuation of the cooperation with the world's largest student organization AIESEC, students Ana Zhgenti (Georgia), Dagmara Buczkowska (Poland), Nabil Kasbaoui (Tunisia), Lu Ke (China), Veronika Yurievna (Ukraine), Cemre Unal (Turkey), Qiano Liao (China), Valentina Andrei (Romania), Rina Narita (Japan), Celine Nuygen (Canada) visited Sinj. Their hosts were Toni Petričević and Tea Kovač from Split, and Nina Marendić and Iva Šusta from Sinj.


The purpose of their arrival was to write articles and blogs about the tourist offer and the potential of Sinj and the Cetina region. Articles about the town of Sinj will be published on various social networks and blogs. This form of promotion has proven effective for all young tourists who are targeting a destination that is interesting and appealing to them.


This year, the announcements from Sinj started just before the Alkar festivities to adequately cover this unique competition and its national and global significance. A special atmosphere was also created thanks to the celebration of Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day and the Day of Croatian Defenders, as well as the parade of historical military units, which was staged before the 304th Čoje. For the purposes of filming, the group visited the Shrine of the Miraculous Lady of Sinj, numerous Sinj monuments, the Kamičak Fortress, and the City Fort, the Museum of the Sinj Alka, which was followed by the 304th Alka, as well as all the events that followed for this year's winner. The students did not hide their enthusiasm.


To promote the Sinj Alka, the city of Sinj and the Republic of Croatia was visited by representatives of one of China's largest travel agencies CTRIP (which has over one hundred million users and employs about 40,000 employees). The group visited during the Alka festivities, led by Jenny Yu, a national TV star and influencer. In addition to Sinj, they moved onto Dubrovnik, Split, Ston, Klis, Zagreb, Brač, Samobor, Rovinj, Pag, and Motovun. In the town of Sinj, they were welcomed by Mayor Kristina Križanac, Sinj Tourist Board Director Monika Vrgoc, and Dugopolje Tourist Board Director Tomislav Balić.

To fully convey and visually evoke the colors of Sinj in a promotional video to their clients and potential Chinese tourists, Shanghai Ctrip Intl Travel Service Co.LTD shot a panorama from the Sinj Fort, then the Sinj Alka Museum, and the Alkar horses. This is a continuation of the extremely good cooperation from February when Chinese speaking tour guides, led by Danijel Botić and Zoran Janžek from the Vision One team, visited Inland Dalmatia. 

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