Around 5000 B.C.

Stone weapons and tools, found at two sites, testify to the settlement of the Cetina as early as the Mesolithic (approximately 7000 B.C.). The multitude of Neolithic artifacts in caves, sinkholes and dugouts speaks of the distribution of settlements about 5,000 years ago. However, the earliest ethnic identification is possible only around 1000 B.C. and is related to the Illyrian tribe named Delmats. Having taken over the area between Krka and Cetina, the Delmats spread rapidly to the south and clashed with Rome. The period of wars begins in 156 B.C. and ends in the year 9 A.D. with the complete defeat of the Delmats.

In 9 A.D.,

with the collapse of Baton (the main leader of the Delmats), the whole of Dalmatia and Cetina definitely became part of the Roman Empire. The period of relative peace (Pax Romana) favuors the new organization of space. The Romans built roads whose ruts (spurile) can be seen cut on the stone floors around the Field of Sinj. On the Illyrian foundations, the Romans fortified Osinium (Sinj) and Tilurium (Trilj), built a bridge on the Cetina and numerous rustic villas. They also founded the famous Colonia Claudia Aequum (today's village Čitluk).

Since the Western Roman Empire was overthrown in 476, Dalmatia and Cetina came under the Byzantine rule. In the middle of the 7th century, the leaders of the Croats crossed Dinara and saw the Adriatic Sea (Adriatic), settled Dalmatia and Cetina, but for the next two centuries they would recognize the supreme authority of Byzantium.

In 879,

the middle of the ninth century, the Croatian state became independent under the Trpimirović dynasty. Over the next two and a half centuries, Croats will assimilate the existing population in Cetina, and form a recognizable cultural landscape.


With the extinction of the Trpimirović dynasty, Croatia unites with Hungary under the Arpadović dynasty (1102). The distance from the center weakens the king's power, so Cetina was almost independently ruled by lords: Domaldići, Šubići and Nelipčići, who marked the 14th and 15th centuries in Sinj, Cetina, Primorje and beyond. In the middle of the 15th century, Cetina was ruled by the Talovci lords, and after them followed the period of discord and internal conflicts, and finally it had been conquered by the Ottomans.

In 1536,

at the beginning of the 16th century, the Ottomans ruled Sinj and the entire Cetina Region. A century and a half (until 1686) the Ottoman administration changed the ethnic image of the Cetina county. Part of the Croatian population escaped, part remained accepting the status of "paradise", and part became Islamized. Sinj Fortress and its suburbs, with the status of "kasaba" and exclusively Islamic population, consisted of about a hundred houses and about 1000 inhabitants.

In 1686.

After several days of fighting, on September 25, 26 and 27, 1686, Sinj and part of the Cetina were liberated and came into Venetian hands. In the autumn of next year, several hundred families moved from Bosnia to the demographically emptied area, leaving a demographic mark that has been preserved to this day. Now comes the "Venetian century" in which the war-torn economy will be rebuilt very, very slowly. The period of enthusiasm and renewal was interrupted by the strong Ottoman offensive on the Cetina and the several-day siege of Sinj (eight days) in August 1715.

In strange circumstances, the relatively small Sinj military crew and the defenders of the fortress not only repulsed the several-day raids, but also caused the complete disintegration of the Ottoman army with about 10,000 dead soldiers. After such losses, the Ottomans were forced to make peace - 1718 in Požarevac. In honor of their heavenly patroness, Our Lady of Sinj, who, according to tradition, drove away the Ottomans as an eternal vow of loyalty and respect, the people of Sinj established the knightly game Alka after the famous heroic battle, and thus every year, on the first Sunday in August, revive the glorious victory.

After the conclusion of the peace, the border on the Dinara is defined, across which the trade caravans have replaced yesterday's chats and bandits. At that time, Sinj became a transit hub between Dalmatia and Bosnia (Turkey), where merchants, renters, cattle hunters and craftsmen have build a town between the Stari Grad fortress, the Kamičak fortress, Žankova glavica and the small river Goručica.

In 1797,

at the end of the eighteenth century, Napoleon overthrew the Venetian Republic, so Dalmatia, together with Cetina and Sinj, became part of Austria. The short-lived Austrian period (1797 to 1805) have been replaced by an even shorter French one. In a short time, the French managed to establish the basis of the transport network and primary education in the whole of Dalmatia. Namely, the Municipality of Sinj was established in 1811. Despite this, the conservative milieu did not accept the French with sympathy.

In 1813,

Dalmatia and Sinj in 1813 rejoined the so-called second Austria, later the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, where it would remain for more than a century. Despite Germanization, Austrian bureaucrats and autonomists, Sinj made the most essential progress in the "Austrian century"; the most important events and dates were:


a grammar school opens - the first of its kind in the Croatian language (as the official) in then-Dalmatia

From 1849 to 1851,

bridges over the river Cetina were built

In 1868,

Sinj was named the district centre

In 1878,

the city sewer was installed, and by the end of the century Sinj gained urban contours, which it retains to this day.

In 1891,

the production of tobacco products is opened, and the famous herbal pharmacy Varda was also opened in Sinj


Sinj gets a railway connection with Split (famous Ferata / Rera of Sinj)

In 1912,

Town of Sinj received water supply, and famous librarian and cultural historian Šime Jurić rightly states that: at the turn of the century Sinj was the most advanced place in the Dalmatian hinterland.

In 1918,

the Austro-Hungarian monarchy disintegrated at the end of October 1918, and the Croats again changed their dynastic citizenship (Habsburg to Karađorđević). Sinj and Cetina became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, then Yugoslavia, where they will remain for over twenty years, which did not bring the expected political and economic prosperity. However, the school year 1921/22 the Real Gymnasium (Sixth form College) was opened, and a year later the whole town center was electrified.


At the beginning of April 1941, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia disintegrated, and the Independent State of Croatia was proclaimed, which, of course, included Cetina Region. However, during its duration, Croatia has never achieved its full independence and autonomy. The presence of a large Italian garrison until the autumn of 1943, and later a German garrison until the autumn of 1944, limited Croatia's sovereignty and ensured dual power. At that time, from the autumn of 1943 to the autumn of 1944, the German Court of Appeals was active, by whose decision twenty-five people from Sinj were sentenced to death and shot for wounding a German soldier. The people of Sinj lived in war poverty and insecurity for four years. The only material heritage of that war time are Italian bunkers, and the ruins after the English bombing of Sinj in September 1944.


In the Sinj region and the town itself, the Independent State of Croatia was overthrown by the entry of the Tito's partisans (People's Liberation Army) on October 25, therefore the entire region, gradually with the whole of Croatia, became part of the FPRY (Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia), then the SFRY (Social Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) where it remained until its disintegration in autumn of 1991.

Half a century of "second Yugoslavia" brought huge sociological, economic and urban changes in Sinj and Cetina Region. By the early 1980s, these shifts were on the rise, improving the material quality of life and the entire population. After that comes entropy: consuming the socialist-communist amalgam (which glued the second Yugoslavia), the so-called The "state of pieces" begins to disintegrate into disintegrating parts.


The inhabitants of the Cetina region and the whole of Croatia in the spring of 1990 by the referendum have exercised the right to state-building elections, and voted in a plebiscite for an independent and sovereign state. When this choice was challenged by the Serbs by force of arms, a war broke out, called the Homeland War. During 1991 and 1992, Serbs occupied a third of Croatia and half of the Cetina county. From the artillery battalions, only some 6-7 kilometers away from Sinj, they kept the free part of Cetina under threat and severe fire. During that period, about 3,000 various grenades were fired at Sinj. However, built of stone, Sinj and the people of Sinj resisted, and in the summer of 1995, with a military-police operation named 'Storm' blew away the occupiers and the enemy. Today, in a free and democratic Croatia, even in Sinj, after centuries, accusations against the foreign administration are disappearing. Now the sociological and economic position and prosperity of the town of Sinj and the Cetina Region depend only on its people and on the institutional structures of the State of Croatia.

In 2015,

after long preparations, plans and final realization, the long-awaited Museum of Sinjska Alka was ceremoniously opened on August 8, which coincided with the 300th anniversary of the famous battle from August 1715. The Alka Museum is located in the Baroque Venetian Quarters (locally called Kvartiri) which served as a main facility to accommodate Venetian cavalry during second half of the 18th century.