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article imageSinj Alka knights parade in Zagreb ahead of 300-year anniversary

By Paul Bradbury     Oct 7, 2014 in Travel
Zagreb - As one of Croatia's most important cultural events approaches its 300-year anniversary, the Alka knights of Sinj parade on the main square of the capital Zagreb.
The streets of the Croatian capital of Zagreb were treated to an impressive display by one of the country's proudest traditions on October 4, 2014. The knights of the Sinj Alka paraded in the city, culminating in their arrival in the central square of Ban Jelicic, as part of the preparations of the 300th anniversary of the Siege of Sinj in 1715.
Named as Croatia's best cultural event by Experience Croatia in 2012, the annual Alka tournament in the inland Dalmatian town of Sinj every August is one of the most important events in the national tourist calendar — it's broadcast live on national television and attended by the Croatian president and other dignitaries in person.
Denis Gugic  winner of the 2014 Sinj Alka Tournament in Croatia
Denis Gugic, winner of the 2014 Sinj Alka Tournament in Croatia
Kresimir Tiganj
Continuing the proud tradition of the knights of Sinj, modern horsemen compete with lances to pierce a small metal Alka ring in front of a packed audience in one of the town's main streets, which is given over to the tournament for a month each summer. Digital Journal attended the event in 2012.
An impressive parade of the event participants preceded the competition.
An impressive parade of the event participants preceded the competition.
The arrival of the knights of Sinj on the streets of Zagreb is a timely reminder of the culture and tradition on offer in Croatian tourism away from the beach, and it comes at a time where the national tourist board has launched a new initiative called 'Croatia 365,' which aims at extending the season by focusing on six core activities away from the beach and sun tourism which characterise for many the stereotype of tourism in Croatia.
The aim of Croatia 365 — focusing on key sectors of culture, outdoor, meetings and incentives, health and wellness, wine and gastronomy and biking — is to extend the season beyond the summer months, and the diverse offer of towns such as Sinj, which are perhaps not immediately on the tourist radar (and which was visited by Digital Journal last year), will be more heavily promoted as Croatia moves to diversify its tourism after a successful post-war campaign under the slogan 'The Mediterranean as It Once Was.'
One of Sinj s access roads is closed and covered in soil weeks before the tournament
One of Sinj's access roads is closed and covered in soil weeks before the tournament
To watch national television coverage of the Alka parade in Zagreb, click here.
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