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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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