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10 most popular summer events on the Adriatic coast and hinterland based on the history and cultural heritage.

20.03.2018. | Cultural Heritage
There are numerous events on the Croatian part of the Adriatic coast and hinterland during the summer to enrich and to complete tourist offer. Among these events, there are a large number of those based on certain historical facts and events, related to the place where they are taking place, and some of them have a very long tradition. These are traditional tournaments, fairs and festivals. Except leisure and fun, they bring also a dose of education to the visitors.

Now, we give you an overview of the 10 most popular events based on historical facts which are held on the Adriatic coast and hinterland every summer.

1. Alka of Sinj (Tournament)

Town: Sinj
Date: First Sunday in the August
Since: 1717.

Sinjska alka (the Alka of Sinj) is an equestrian competition held in the Croatian town of Sinj every first Sunday in August since 1717. It commemorates a Croatian-Venetian victory over Ottomans on August 14, 1715 in which the local Christian population of around 700 Croats in cooperation with a smaller number of Venetians managed to defend Sinj against 60,000 Ottoman soldiers led by Mehmed-paša Ćelić.

Today the Alka of Sinj is a unique knightly tournament in Europe held every year in August in Sinj, a small town of inland Dalmatia, about 30 km north of Split. In 2010, the Alka was inscribed in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists

2. Fjera on the island of Rab (Fair)

Town: Rab
Date: End of the July
Since: 1364.

The first and largest medieval summer fair in Croatia, Rapska fjera is based on tradition started 21st of July 1364, when the City Council of Rab decided to celebrate and honor King Louis the Great who freed them from the Venetian rule, as well as holiday honoring St. Christophor, patron saint of the town of Rab. Fjera used to last for 14 days celebrate and praise the saints powers that supposedly saved the town from destruction.

The entire island goes back in time during those days. Small artisan stores move to the streets, so you can have your belt or a perfumed pomade made infront of your eyes, while your hair is being braided with tiny flowers into a typical do from the medeival times.

3. International Medieval Šibenik Fair

City: Šibenik
Date: September
Since: 2005.

Every year in the month of September in the eve of St. Michael's day a Fair in the Medieval Šibenik takes place, a fair for inhabitants and peasants, masters of old Handicrafts and gastronomic specialties. The entire City transformed into a bustle of activity, a medieval marketplace.

The Fair programmes offer a unique presentation of life, work and gastronomic achievements in the times when Šibenik was the largest city in Croatia. Special attention is therefore paid to the features of the traditional culture and old craft production of Šibenik.

4. The Pirate Battle of Omiš (historical event)

City: Omiš
Date: Middle of the August
Since: 2007.

For complete Venetian domination on the Adriatic Omiš was the thorn in the eye. Historical documents show that pirates of Omiš were building ships which are still unique in the shipbuilding industry for which Omiš people are very proud of. This unique event is a reconstruction of the historic battle between the pirates of Omiš and the Venetians in the 13th century. In the battle participate more than a hundred armed pirates. Venetians on a large sailing ship entering the port and pirates on small boats attacking big Venetian ship. Flashing swords, shooting from pistols and cannons. Fearless pirates, led by Prince Malduk, defeat a numerically superior enemy. Pope's envoy Akoncije begging pirates that his life be spared, handing them the treasure chest, and agrees that Venetians will pay for the future sailing through the Brač channel. After the battle follows the celebration of magnificent victory with pirates with live music until late at night.

Over a period of just a few years, the Pirate Battle has become one of the high points of the town’s tourist offer, a true sea spectacle attracting more than 10,000 visitors to the Omiš port each year.

5. The Nights of Diocletian (Festival)

City: Split
Date: End of the August or in the beginning of the September
Since: 2005.

An event that the Croatian National Tourist Board and the Ministry of Tourism have included in their "Top Manifestations" of Croatian tourism, The Nights of Diocletian.

One of the most popular events in Split in the summer, The Nights of Diocletian, transforms the city of Split back to the time when famous Roman Emperor Diocletian paraded the city.

6. Historical Festival – Giostra

Town: Poreč
Date: September
Since: 1745.

Poreč historical festival – Giostra gathers over 250 participants in costumes who, throughout the 3 festival days, evoke for the spectators life in the Baroque period thus making it a unique festival in Croatia. This cultural, educational and tourist manifestation stems from historical facts, so most of its events are connected to the 18th century. The central festival event, which also gave Giostra its name, is a knight tournament Giostra, reconstructed from the rules of a tournament held in Poreč in the year 1745.

7. Boat Marathon on the Neretva River (Competition)

City: Metković
Date: Second weekend in the August
Since: 1998.

Every year more than 300 competitors in 30 traditional, wooden Ladje boats, race a course of 22.5 km at the Lower Neretva River, which flows through the south part of Croatia. Maraton Ladje is a rowing competition which involves racing of traditional vessels, known as Ladje, which are native to the Lower Neretva River. Ladje boats, used for centuries for the transportation of people, animals and framing produce, were also central to a number of significant life events, such as weddings and funerals. Ladje boats were also used by the old Neretva pirates, who terrorised the area back in the 10th century. To preserve the traditions of the old Ladje, the rowing race from Metković to Ploče was introduced for the first time in 1998.

8. Days of Vrana knights (Festival)

Town: Vrana – Pakoštane
Date: End of the August
Since: 2007.

During Knightly Days in Vrana near Pakoštane ath the end of the August there are re-enactments of events and life from historic times: a medieval camp, knight tournaments, old crafts, plays, knight-horsemen from Croatia and abroad, falcon trainers, jugglers, charming folk costumes, uniforms, instruments of war, and a rich a culinary offer based on medieval recipes. Everything will delight the eyes whilst the fruits of the land from the Vrana fields will surely delight your taste buds.

9. Awakening of the Dragon (historical event)

Town: Rogoznica
Date: August
Since: 2013.

Event the Awakening of the Dragon, is a unique staging of the ancient legend of the Dragon’s eye lake and the dragon Murin, which is held along the Rogoznica waterfront. It present the story of true love that transforms the world. This is a story about courage, love, loyalty, and the triumph of good over evil. Visitors have the opportunity to experience the fairy-tale world of dragons, wizards, knights and maidens, and become part of the legend about the creation of the magnificent lake Dragon’s Eye, the symbol of eternal and true love.

10. International Marco Polo Fest - Song and Wine Festival

Town: Korčula
Date: End of the July
Since: 1996.

The International Marco Polo Festival of Song and Wine is held in July on the "Plokata" summer stage in Korčula town. The festival was founded in 1996 to honor the 700th year anniversary of the return of the famous traveler, merchant, and explorer. The festival brings together the world’s best wine producers, as well as the best Croatian and international singers over a two-day event.

The International Marco Polo Festival is a wonderful opportunity to marry wine with music.

SOURCE: Turističke zajednice, i lokalni portali.
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