Sinjska Alka Returns this Weekend for 302nd Edition!

Daniela Rogulj

It’s the most wonderful time of the year in Sinj!

While there are numerous events in Croatia that enjoy great popularity and recognizability, one of them particularly holds a special place for many, and that is the Sinjska Alka

The glorious Alka, a knight’s game whose significance is so great that UNESCO included it on the World Heritage List in 2010, will return for the 302nd edition this weekend.

The Sinjska Alka is held each year on the first Sunday in August. The equestrian event is held to commemorate the victory of Sinj in the battle against the Ottoman Turks who attempted to conquer the Sinj Fortress in 1715. 

During the Alka competition itself, participants (the alkars) gallop by horse down a track, with lances in hand, toward a metal ring – the alka. The ultimate goal is to strike one of the parts of the alka ring. Depending on which part of the ring the alkar strikes, he will be given 1 to 3 points. If the alkar misses the ring completely, there will be no points rewarded. 

The Alka participants wear the authentic costumes worn in the 18th-century and their horses are also richly dressed. 

What is particularly unique about the Alka is that only men born in the Cetina region can partake in the event. They must also be “hawk-eyed” and have a strong right hand. An honest and honorable man would do the job fine.

Before Alka itself, two other races are held – the Bara and Čoja. The Bara is the first to be scheduled and is held two days before the Alka. The Čoja follows on the second day, and the third day hosts the central manifestation – the Sinjska Alka. All three races are held with the same rules.

This year’s event promises to be yet another to remember. The Bara will be held on Friday, August 4 at 17:30, the Čoja on August 5 at 17:30, and the main event, the Sinjska Alka will be held on Sunday, August 6 at 16:30.


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