MUSEUMS: ALKA OF SINJ, CETINA REGION AND THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL COLLECTION OF THE FRANCISCAN MONASTERY
MUSEUM ALKA OF SINJ – opened on the grand celebration of the 300th anniversary of Alka of Sinj on the 8th of August 2015. The museum exhibit contains beautiful old uniforms and equipment of Sinj Alkars, weapons, documentation such as Alkar statutes and regulations, old photographs and a very imposing Alkar procession made in life-size by Hrvoje Dumančić. The procession includes everything from pedestrians such as harambasha, squires, maces and horsemen, dukes, alkars, flag bearers … You can also watch a movie about Alka of Sinj, a virtual battle from 1715 and even play a video game, interesting for adults too, not just children. I play it every time, and I’ve been at least three times so far. The museum is modern and extremely interesting, I highly recommend a visit to this museum.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL COLLECTION OF THE FRANCISCAN MONASTERY in Sinj is also exceptionally interesting. Archaeological, paleontological, numismatic and ethnographic collections and a collection of church objects are kept and exhibited in the monastery. The current exhibition dates from 1982, and the collection was created thanks to Fr. Ante Konstantin Matas in the 19th century. It is one of the most valuable collections in Croatia, mostly thanks to the archaeological site Aequuema near the village of Čitluk near Sinj. The head of Heracles, the statue of Diana Lucifera, the remains of the statue of the goddess Diana, etc. are just some of the valuable exhibits of this collection.
MUSEUM OF THE CETINA REGION – located in a building that is also part of the Kamičak fortress. It was founded in 1956 for the purpose of researching and presenting the cultural and historical heritage of Sinj and the Cetina region. The museum includes an archaeological, numismatic, cultural-historical, ethnographic and natural history collection, as well as a collection of weapons, photographs and photographic accessories, documents, postcards, posters and an art collection in which the most represented artists are from the Cetina region. In the Museum you can learn a little more about Silent Circle Dance, ‘Didi from Kamešnica’ and Pottery from the village of Potravlje, which are protected cultural heritage of the Republic of Croatia.
THE BATTLE OF SINJ 1715 – In turbulent times, when foreign invaders took turns in these areas to the detriment of the local population, Sinj was first under Ottoman rule, from 1513 to 1686, and from 1686 under Venetian rule. Despite losing their supremacy, the Ottomans did not give up on trying again to conquer the town of Sinj. The most significant battle on this occasion was fought in 1715, when the ‘handful’ of the people of Sinj, left at the mercy of the war, fought for their own survival against thousands and thousands of Ottoman soldiers. More precisely, 700 people from Sinj defended their homes against the Ottoman army of 60,000 soldiers.
MIRACULOUS LADY OF SINJ – Sinj is one of the largest Croatian Marian shrines. On the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, many pilgrims from all over the region come to Sinj on foot. At 9.30 am, on that day, a picture of the Miraculous Lady of Sinj from the church of the same name is taken to a solemn procession through the city.
The painting of the Miraculous Lady of Sinj, by an unknown author, dates from the 15th or 16th century and was brought to Sinj by the friars from Rama. It is painted on canvas, size 58 x 44 cm. The coronation of the Lady’s figure took place a year after Sinj was believed to have been liberated from the Ottomans with her help. The soldiers and their commanders collected 80 gold coins, of which Our Lady’s crown was made in Venice.
The painting is kept in the church of the same name, also known for the relief door made by Stipe Sikirica.