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Sinj, Croatia

Suitable geographic position, caves, hills and fertile valleys have preconditioned the development of agriculture as well as the development of cattle breeding on the mountain slopes. After the fall of the Roman Empire, barbarians repeatedly invaded the area. At the beginning of the 7th century, Croats came from White Croatia (the Vistula region in today’s Poland) and settled in the region of Dalmatia. In the later period, when a kingdom was founded, fortified Sinj became the centre of the Cetina County. As the princes grew in power and influence, the Cetina Principality was founded. The title of princes of Cetina was first acquired by the Šubić princes and from 1345 it belonged to the Nelipic princes. The Franciscans of the Bosnian Vicary were encouraged by Prince Ivan Nelipic to come to Cetina, the town at the foot of Sinj fortress. There they built St Mary’s church as well as the monastery, which was plundered and burnt by the Ottomans in 1492. In 1513 Sinj fell into Ottoman hands, up until 1686, when it came under Venetian rule. The Ottomans, however, were still attempting to win back Sinj. The most significant battle was fought in 1715, when 700 defenders of Sinj repulsed an attack of tens of thousands of Ottomans. The disordered Ottoman army, weakened by hunger and the outbreak of dysentery, left the Cetinska Krajina Region.

After the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and then the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the Independent State of Croatia, the Italian occupation and the communist Yugoslavia, Sinj has finally become part of the independent and sovereign Republic of Croatia. The Day of the Town of Sinj is celebrated on August 15. On that day Assumption of the Madonna, the patroness of Sinj, is celebrated as well.
Sinj and Cetinska Krajina represent an interesting tourist area, and the major attraction, for which the town is known a, is certainly the traditional Tilters Tournament of Sinj. It takes place every year on the first Sunday in August to commemorate the victory over the Turkish army in 1715. The tilters, dressed in the traditional costumes, ride on horseback in full gallop, trying to thrust a ring (alka), hanging from a wire, with a lance.The tilter who scores the highest number of points (punat) is declared victor. Many tourist from Croatia and abroad visit the Tilters Tournament every year.

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