Croatian Bullfighting at its Best: Have You Visited Šestanovac?

Daniela Rogulj

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Thousands will gather this month for a bullfighting spectacle unlike anything you’ve seen before, and no, it is not in Spain, but in Inland Dalmatia!

Ever been to a bullfight in Croatia? Ever wondered what going to a bullfight in Croatia was like? Or better yet, were you even aware that Croatia held such bullfighting events?

To be honest, other than hearing about Croatian bullfighting from a table next to me at a wedding, I didn’t know much about it either. That being said, today I dug a bit deeper to find out what all the fuss was about.

Today we introduce you to Šestanovac, a small municipality tucked away in Split’s hinterland, Inland Dalmatia. The town is known for their “Bikijada” or in other words, bullfighting, which is a Dalmatian tradition that has stood the test of time. 

Each summer, Šestanovac hosts bullfighting matches at Bizonova Arena, or Buffalo Arena, in the town. The event draws thousands of spectators each year, and organizer Josip Ribičić said that the event has grown tremendously over the years – each year is better than the last. 

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Last year’s Bikijada, which was held on July 10th, 2016, exhibited 13 battles with 26 bulls that weighed between 700 and 1600 kilos. The event, which began at 14:00, lasted until 21:00 in the evening with plenty of food, drinks, and entertainment to keep everyone satisfied. 

This year’s event, which will be held on July 23, 2017, will also celebrate a very special anniversary. For the 10th edition of the festival, as you might have expected, a packed program awaits.

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One of the many battles that will take place at this spectacle will be between the well-known Zekonja (owner of Kuman Šestanovac) and Garac (owner of Verdic -Commerce). Visitors will also see the collision of champion Radošić 2017 (Mijo Đirlić) vs Benko Neporaženi (vl. Marko Ivić), and Borba Perana (vl. Braća Boko) vs Car (vl. Neven Hrstić).

The winners this year will receive a scooter for placing first, a grass trimmer for placing second, and a gift card worth 1,000 HRK for placing in third. The highly anticipated event will end with a grand concert by Josip Ivančić. 

Still not convinced? Check out the video below and save the date.


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