The tournament commemorates a victory achieved by 700 Croatian defenders of Sinj, about 30 kilometres inland from the southern coastal city of Split, against 60,000 Ottoman soldiers under Serasker Mehmed Pasha Celic on August 14, 1715.
Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, who attended the final day of the three-day tournament, began her address by presenting the Charter of the Republic of Croatia to the Vitesko alkarsko drustvo Sinj (The Sinjska Alka Knights’ Society).
According to a press release issued by the Office of the President, Grabar-Kitarovic said that she was pleased to once again attend the celebration of the Sinjska Alka Knights’ Tournament.
“Although the battle of Sinj in 1715 was not the Croatian nation’s first or last fight for survival and freedom, the recollection of it through the Alka tournament summarizes all our ethical values and spiritual virtues. These can be described by the statement that our first President Franjo Tudjman frequently made: the Croatian people always readily responded to the sacred duty of defending the homeland with faith in God’s help and in the intercession of Our Lady proudly referred to here as Our Lady of Sinj”, the president noted.
The final of this three-day competition is held on the first Sunday in August.