Not many events in the world have been held for more than 300 years in a row…
The 301st Sinjska Alka Knights lancing tournament, an event which has been held since 1715. will be held on Sunday 7 August 2016 in the southern Croatian town of Sinj.
Sinjska Alka, as the event is known, is an equestrian competition commemorating the victory over the advancing Ottoman Turkish administration in the 18th century. Now in its 301st year, the Alka Knights Games sees various horsemen attempt to aim their lances at a hanging metal ring, known as the Alka, at full gallop.
Only men born in Sinj and surrounding villages are eligible to take part in the event and with it comes considerable prestige. The costumes worn by the alkar men are the same that were worn by the warriors in the 18th century.
Sinjska Alka were inscribed in UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2010. The Sinjska Alka is also celebrated with local religious events, social gatherings and festivities and is the only remaining example of the medieval knightly competitions that were regularly held in the Croatian coastal towns until the nineteenth century.