Sinjska alka

 

Sinjska alka is a knight’s tournament that is traditionally held in Sinj in the first half of August. It is an event that symbolically depicts the victory of the local population from 1715, which finally freed the town Sinj from the Ottoman rule. On that day around seven hundred Croatian soldiers from Sinj managed to fend off a rush of 60,000 Ottoman troops led by Mehmed Pasha Celic. The Sinjska alka Tournament was established right after this victory and therefore celebrated the 300th anniversary of the glorious victory and performance of the Tournament. The rules of the Tournamnet, selection of participants, their appearance and roles, al well as a broader set of regulations are strictly defined by the Statue of the Alka Knight’s Tournament Society and the Rules of the Sinjska alka.

The Tournament is a competition where alkar, a rider on a horse,  has to run a 160m long race course in full speed, and hit the center of a small iron circle called alka with a spear, which is at a height of 3.32 m. The target that the competitors aim consists of two concentric iron circles joined by three bars, so that the distance between the circles is divided into three equal parts. The outcome depends on the part of the ring that a competitor (the alkar) hit: the central circle hit, which is the smallest one (three points), the upper field hit (two points) and one of the two lower field hit (one point).

About how much difficult is to participate in the Tournament shows a fact that preparation for this event start a several months before the final performance. Preparations intensify as the date of the Tournament nears and the final decision as who among those who prepared for the Tournament will actually compete is brought by the Tournament Master (the Alka Duke) a few days before the competition. The Duke chooses no less than eleven and no more than seventeen contestants who will take part in the annual ceremony.

For many years, our hotel has the honor to be a proud sponsor of the Sinjska alka and thus supports the ceremony as a symbol of Croatian cultural heritage and tradition. Due to its long tradition and exceptional cultural significance, in 2010 Sinjska alka was also inscribed in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists, thus gaining even more importance for Croatian traditions and customs.