, The Our Lady of Sinj route

Žarko Dražojević

(Dražoević; Zarco da Spalato, Xarco Draxoevic), Grand Duke and Duke of Poljica (?, around 1438 - between Klis and Sinj, 15 January 1508). He comes from the Poljica noble family. In 1461, with the special permission of the Venetian authorities, he moved with his father from Poljica to Split.

In 1471, with the help of the Venetians, he abducted the Klis fortress from sub-governor (commander) Pavle Tar, as well as some other towns in the Cetina region. In an effort to restore the recaptured fortress, after the unsuccessful negotiations in 1472, Pavle Tar besieged the fortress and died under it. However, duke Dražojević failed to keep Klis in his hands. It is assumed that in 1494 he voluntarily ceded it to the Croatian-Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus, receiving Novigrad in Lika in exchange. He also ruled the town of Nutjak on the Cetina, where he built some new fortifications. Žarko Dražojević stood out with his successful anti-Ottoman actions in Dalmatia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In May 1499, together with the Croatian commanders Marčinko from Knin and Pavle Štrbac Kožul, he penetrated the Livanjsko polje and fought with the Ottomans at the Makarska coast and Herzegovina. In January 1501, the Venetians appointed him a knight and commander of light cavalry (so-called stratiota). At the beginning of 1501, during the re-invasion of Herzegovina with Marčinko and Štrbac Kožul, his unit was surrounded by Ottomans and with a few comrades he barely escaped capture and death.

In January 1508, Sinj was in danger from the Ottomans, so for its defense, the count of Split, Petar Malipiero, sent a defense company of 80 men led by Dražojević. On their way from Klis to Sinj they were ambushed by the 200 Turkish soldiers and were eventually completely defeated, and the hero Žarko himself was also killed.

He was buried in the Split Cathedral and parish church of Saint Domninus (Saint Dujam) at the request of his wife Katarina Martinušić. His death was sung by Marko Marulić in Latin verse Ad Xarcum Draxoevium Dalmaticum.