ZAGREB, July 14, 2020 – The traditional Sinjska Alka Knights lancing tournament will be held for the 305th time on August 9 in the southern Croatian town of Sinj.
Sinjska Alka is an equestrian competition commemorating the victory over the advancing Ottoman Turkish administration in the 18th century.
Now in its 305th year, Sinjska Alka sees various horsemen attempt to aim their lances at a hanging metal ring, known as the Alka, at full gallop. The ring, or Alka, consists of two concentric iron circles joined by three bars so that the distance between the circles is divided into three equal parts. The central circle, which is the smallest one, is worth three points (punat), the upper field two points, and two lower fields one point each.
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 was 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.