image046The town of Sinj is situated in Split hinterland, about 15 km far from the highway A1, on the west side of the field that extends along the middle flow of the river Cetina. The Illyrians were the first to settle here, then came Romans, and finally, in the VII c. arrived the Croats, who founded the town Sinj. The name of Sinj was first mentioned on November 21st 1345, and the name of Franciscan monastary in 1357.

Vsinj (Sinj) was, in fact, the name of the fortress at an elevation of 438 meters above an old Illirian village Osinium. Under the fortress there was a small town called Cetingrad. Its ideal position provided a magnificent view on the whole Cetina County. All important roads from Bosnia to Split used to pass along Sinj which was the headquarter of royal county governer of Cetina County. On November 21st 1345 Sinj became the town of Cetina dukes, Nelipić of whom were the most famous. Having conquered Bosnia in 1463, Cetina County became the target of Turkish attacks. Since then Sinj changed its ruler several times, until 1536 when it fell in Turkish hands and remained under their domination till September 25th 1686. The Turks could not cope with the loss of Sinj.

sinjThey tried to conquer it again the following year (1687) but they failed. At the beginning of 1715 Turkey announced the war to Venice. Therefore the attack on Sinj was supposed to be their next step. On July 23rd 1715 Mehmed pasa Ćelić and his numerous army encamped along the river Cetina. On August 8th, 1715 the Turks started to attack Sinj. The most forceful onslaught happened on August 14th. At that time friars, women, children and the rest who could not fight, prayed in front of the painting of Our Lady Mary for help. As written by one annalist Madonna gave such strength to defenders that they fought so bravely and therefore managed to defend themselves. On the holiday of Great Lady Mary morning (August 15th) none of the Turkish solders remained under Sinj. It's still incomprehensive why the Turks gave up conquering Sinj since they had much bigger army: there were 700 defenders against 40.000 to 60.000 Turkish solders. In commemoration of their victory the surviving defenders instituted the Alka tournament, a famous equestrian competition held every year since then.


Contact us:
Sanctuary of the Miraculous Lady of Sinj
Address: Fratarski prolaz 4, 21 230 Sinj, Dalmatia – Croatia
Telephone: +385 (0)21 707.010

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Updated: 16. 5. 2016.