Cultural Heritage of the Cetinska Krajina Region
The Cetina region has historically and culturally been determined by the Cetina river and its tributaries. The Cetina is not merely a setting for splendid natural beauty, but the source of life for the people of the Cetinska krajina region.
The Cetinska krajina region, abounding in natural and historical sites that frequently create synergy in their mutual relationship, attracts not only the professional public but all visitors who find enjoyment in cultural diversity.
Although presenting merely a part of what can be experienced, this overview may serve as a signpost to all who wish to sense this diversity.
Alkar on a Horse
A vivid sculpture of an alkar lancer on a horse, one of the symbols of Sinj, is the work of academic sculptor Stipe Sikirica.
Alkar Palace (Kvartiri) – Museum of the Alka of Sinj
The term Kvartiri suggests the original purpose of the fort in the shape of a rectangle with two sets of buildings, each with two rectangular towers and two inner yards separated by stables. It was erected in 1760 as an army barracks for the cavalry. Today, the building of the Alkar Palace is home to a multimedia museum of hundreds of years of the preserved heritage of the Alka of Sinj.
The entire area around the bridge, including the riverbed, is a major archeological site. Several Roman artifacts have been found around the bridge.
The art of building Cetina boats in Otok near Sinj is a protected intangible good of the Republic of Croatia.
Church of Our Lady of Health
Legend has it that the church was erected by a grateful husband as his pledge to Our Lady who had answered his prayers and cured his ill, pregnant wife.
Church of Holy Salvation
The oldest church with a preserved belfry in Croatia is located near the source of the Cetina river. Dating back to the 9th century, the time of Croatian Prince Branimir, it is one of the most significant pre-Romanesque Croatian edifices.
Česma or Vrilo, a landmark of the town of Vrlika, is the spring of a brook, better known as the venue of every summer’s performance of ‘Ero from the Other World’ by Jakov Gotovac.
Didi from Kamešnica
Distinct guardians of Carnival customs, Didi from Kamešnica inherit and preserve the centuries old tradition of the procession of so called mačkare (Carnival participants). This ritual is a protected intangible cultural good of the Republic of Croatia.
The gallery holdings include over 500 works (sculptures, graphics, drawings, medals) by the distinguished academic sculptor Stipe Sikirica.
Gardun, Roman Military Camp of Tilurium
Archeological site with remnants of monumental edifices of the military camp.
Wally Neuzil’s Grave
The grave of Egon Schiele’s young muse, Walburga Wally Neuzil, known as the ‘Viennese Mona Lisa’, at St. Francis cemetery, is a Sinj monument to a story of romance and art.
Stone Bridge at Han
This historical site is to this day an important route across the river and one of the symbols of bridging the life-giving Cetina river.
Hand-wheel pottery, preserved in this region since 4th century BC, has never been replaced by foot-wheel pottery, which is why it is of exceptional ethnological value.
Bridge in Panj
The bridge across the Cetina river in the town of Panj, built in 1905 and later renovated, one of the symbols of the municipality of Hrvace.
Museum of the Cetinska Krajina Region – Sinj and Kamičak Fort
The Museum of the Cetinska Krajina Region – Sinj is located in the Palacina edifice, a memorial facility, which together with the Kamičak fort represents a protected cultural good of the Republic of Croatia.
Silent Circle Dance
This is a closed circle dance performed without music. Today, the Vrlika silent circle dance is on UNESCO’s List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Remnants of the Old Christian Church of Mirine
The site of Mirine is home to the remnants of an old Christian basilica from the 6th century, one of the few basilicas preserved in Dalmatia.
Ojkanje and rera are the oldest forms of singing in Croatia, categorized as protected intangible world cultural heritage. Numerous cultural associations preserve and pass this music and singing creativity on as a cultural phenomenon.
Roman Road of Čemernica
The name Dicmo is believed to have come from the word decimus (Latin for ten) as a sign of distance from the Roman road that used to lead from what was then called Salona (Solin).
Old Railway Station
The preserved stone building of the old railway station of the narrow gauge railway from early 20th century, known under the name – ferata.
Sanctuary of the Miraculous Lady of Sinj
The center of veneration and by far the greatest pride of the people of Sinj is the painting of the Mother of Mercy brought from Rama in 1687. Since 1721 it has been kept in the Church of the Miraculous Lady of Sinj.
A monumental sculpture with a fountain by a Sinj native, Ivo Filipović Grčić, represents three Sinj residents holding the alka with their raised arms.
The most prominent site of Sinj, with a votive church on the fortress grounds as a symbol of preservation of the precious painting of Our Lady of Mercy during the siege of Sinj in 1715.
Just like the Prozor fortress above Vrlika, the Potravnik fortress was a part of the small defense chain of forts in the south of the Croatian kingdom in the 14th century.
The Prozor fortress, one of the best preserved in the Dalmatian inland, has been watching for over five hundred years over what is today Vrlika. Partially renovated, it offers an unforgettable view of the town of Vrlika, Vrlika Field and Peruća Lake.
Only true masters of drywall construction knew how to build a well. Such a well is called učemereni bunar and represents a special anthropological feature of the Cetina region.
The pointed remnant of a tower on a steep cliff of the Cetina river canyon is a characteristic vista of the historical fort of Nutjak, erected in the 15th century by the Prince of Poljica Žarko Dražojević.
Suspension Bridge over the Cetina
Renovated pedestrian bridge with modern LED lighting.
Collection of the Franciscan Monastery in Sinj
Fourth in terms of its importance and establishment (1860) in the territory of the Republic of Croatia, the collection of the Franciscan Monastery in Sinj excels in particular in abundant archeological findings and ethnographic material of the Cetinska krajina region.
Grebčine Archeological Site
A large necropolis with standing tombstones (stećci). Stećci are mostly regular-shaped monoliths with no visible decorations.
Varvodića Gradina Archeological Site
Prehistoric fortified settlement northwest of the hamlet of Varvodići.
Bakovića greblje on Vinalić
The area called Bakovića greblje (Baković Cemetery) holds remnants of a medieval cemetery with seven poorly carved and unembellished gravestones.
Dinko Šimunović’s Bust
Sculpted by Ivan Meštrović in 1932 to commemorate the printing of a special edition of Šimunović’s tale Alkar.
The mill has six so called spoon mills which are still occasionally operational.
Church of Our Lady of the Rosary
Local church of the village of Velić. The church holds a picture of Our Lady and a large processional silver cross.
All Saints’ Church
Erected in the foothills of the Čačvina fort. The original chapel was dedicated to St. Joseph, and was expanded in 1792.
Church of St. Catherine and Medieval Cemetery in Lučani
The church with a belfry at the front was built in the 19th century.
Church of St. Clare
A small single-nave church with a double canopy roof built in the field before the village of Vojnić.
Church of St. Nicholas
The parish church of the village of Bajagić was constructed at the site of an earlier church from the 18th century.
Church of St. Peter and Paul
The Church of St. Peter and Paul at the Vrlika cemetery is the first church erected in Vrlika following the liberation from the Turks.
Church of Holy Salvation in Ježević
The new Church of Holy Salvation in Ježević was constructed in 2004 at the site of an earlier one from 1969.
Church of St. Vitus on Zelovo
Erected in 1933, this is a spacious single-nave edifice with a massive belfry above the frontage.
Church of the Ascension of Our Lord (Holy Salvation)
The Orthodox Church of the Ascension of Our Lord in the village of Cetina, above the source of the Cetina river, was built in 1940.
A small stone bridge and mill make up a unique assembly of traditional architecture, unfortunately now derelict.
Crkvina in Koljani
The site of Crkvina in Koljani Gornji is where remnants of a larger old Croatian church have been discovered, second most significant one in the Upper Cetina region.
Fountain on Pijaca
The fountain (called funtana by the locals) on the main square Pijaca was erected by mayor Antonio Buglian in 1852.
Accredited Franciscan Classical Gymnasium in Sinj
The first public gymnasium in the Croatian south with Croatian as the teaching language.
Gardun, Church of St. Peter
The cemetery church was built in a prehistoric hillfort, on the site of Stražbenica. The present day church from the 18th century is an adaptation of the older edifice.
A smaller prehistoric hillfort fortified by a drywall (nowadays an embankment).
Not far from the Zduš wellspring in Podosoj, a medieval cemetery was discovered with findings dating back to the 7th-12th century.
Located downstream, near the source of the Zduš wellspring, now abandoned and derelict.
Stone Bridge on the Gorućica Rivulet
The bridge was constructed in late 19th century, south of the protected core of the town of Sinj.
St. Anthony’s Chapel
Constructed in the 19th century, the chapel serves the needs of the parish priest of Zelovo.
St. Clement’s Chapel in Voštane
Erected in the 19th century. The cult of St. Clement had spread from Poljice where this saint is honored as the patron saint of cattle.
A characteristic complex of stone houses, mostly low-rise.
The Lelas Mill is an example of a spoon mill with twelve mills and two auxiliary buildings.
Lovrić and Litre’s Corral
The Sinj town core features yards enclosed by residential and commercial facilities, so called corrals. Two corrals, Lovrić and Litre’s, are located in the very center, in the immediate vicinity of the main square Pijaca.
The Dragović monastery is presumed to have been built in the 15th century. The monastery was submerged during the construction of the Peruća accumulation lake. When the water level is low, remnants of its structure can be seen.
Example of a spoon mill with a horizontal mill wheel and three mill installations.
Uba Local Well
Above the hamlet of Poduba is a wellspring – an open well of 10 meters in diameter which, as the locals have it, never runs dry.
Nova Mostina Mill
Constructed in mid-19th century, erected on five archers, holding five mills inside.
Stara Mostina Mill
Constructed in 1826, the mill building was erected on eight stone arches through which water flows, driving six mill wheels.
Trilj Region Museum
The protected museum holdings include an Antiquity Collection with artifacts from the site of Tilurium – Roman military camp, Prehistoric Collection with objects from the Neolithic to the new era, Collection of the Middle Ages with findings from the Cetina riverbed, Numismatics Collection holding samples of coins from the ancient times from the site of Tilurium, and the Ethnographic Collection with traditional artifacts of the Trilj region.
Gaius Liberius’ Grave Stele
Found at the Tilurium site, the gravestone of a seven-year old Roman boy holding a symbol of a genuine leather ball in his hand, dating back to the 2nd century.
Necropolis with Standing Tombstones in the Village of Velić
In the middle of the Pudari hamlet, on a small earthen mound and around it, some 15 plain thick stone slabs have been preserved.
Remnants of an Old Road in the Baren Hamlet
Underneath the current road in the Baren hamlet one can see remnants of an older road from the 19th century which had been constructed underneath the present-day road.
The palace of a well-known Sinj family, Tripalo, represents a precious example of a residence of a 19th century wealthy urban family.
St. Nicholas Parochial Church
Although mentioned for the first time in 1701, the single-nave parochial church of St. Nicholas was given its present appearance in 1801.
The Petrovac Fountain in front of the courthouse was commissioned by Petar Tripalo in 1878.
A unique example of bridging the river because it is assembled of medieval stone megaliths – stećci, which had originally been used as tombstones.
The construction of the Orthodox church in Vrlika was also followed by the cemetery decorated with stone monuments carved by the local masters from Civljane.
Rural Complex of the Čovići Village
Partially preserved traditional stone houses set around individual farms.
Rural Complex of the Kundidi Village
Set of houses, mostly one- and two-story, as well as farm buildings. Example of well-preserved autochthonous rural architecture of villages.
Rural Complexes – Villages of Ćosići and Ratkovići
Example of well-preserved autochthonous rural construction of compact villages.
Samardžić Mill on the Grab River
Valuable rural set of mills built in the 19th century. The mills are still operational.
Rural set of traditionally built houses of carved stone.
Gornje Voštane Village
The position of the hamlet at the junction of arable and non-arable land attests to the conscious relationship of the constructors towards the space surrounding them and demonstrating the most significant characteristic of traditional rural architecture, where nothing is built on fertile ground.
A valuable set of rural architecture built in a traditional manner.
‘At the Wellspring’ Sculpture
Figure of a girl drinking water at the wellspring is the first publically displayed sculpture by Stipe Sikirica.
Memorial to Don Ivan Filipović Grčić
Next to the Alkar Palace is a memorial to one of the greatest warriors against Ottoman conquerors and leader of the defense of Sinj in 1715.
Memorial to Fr. Pavle Vučković
This memorial to the founder of the convent and sanctuary of the Miraculous Lady of Sinj is the work of the academic sculptor Kuzma Kovačić.
Old Church of St. Michael in Trilj
It was at a site in its vicinity that well-known early medieval golden female jewelry from late 8th century was found (earrings, necklace, ring, gold coin of the Byzantine emperor Constantine Copronymus).
Old Stone Bridge
Constructed in the first half of the 19th century from carved grey stone variety (sivac) assembled in horizontal regular lines.
Standing Tombstones “na mašete”
Archeological site of a cemetery with standing tombstones (stećci). Named after its position on the southern slope of Kamešnica.
Stojić Mill – Mill by the Česma of Vrlika
Most probably built even before Česma was furbished, in late 19th century, it was operational until mid-20th century.
An analysis of the ceramics found at the site demonstrated that this hillfort was inhabited both in prehistoric times and in the Roman period.
The pleasant atmosphere in the Vuković houses in Podosoj was so much to the liking of emperor Franz Joseph I, who had visited Vrlika in 1875, that he called it the Schönbrun of Vrlika.
Prehistoric fortified settlement defended by a long drywall on the southern side.
Represents a unique example of a mill adapting to the water level during the operation of the mill wheel.
The first mention of the fort dates back to 1372, and until early 15th century it was held by the Nelipić princes. It is composed of two towers connected by an elongated yard.
The wellspring in the gardens of Podvaroš (Varoždin) was refurbished in 1898. It is reached by descending stone stairs.
A two-story house of neo-stylistic architecture, with the eastern frontage decorated with diagonally placed stone carvings with a classicistic fence, while the apertures are embellished with an iron trim.
Although built in the town, the house has a countryside character and represents an exception in Sinj and beyond, in the broader Dalmatia region.
Streets of Vrlika
The historical core of Vrlika is replete with houses with features of rural architecture. Stone one- or two-story houses with balconies and yards as well as characteristic city houses, mostly two-story, were built during the 19th century.
To provide water for its cattle, the residents built a stone underwall in the rock accumulating water, with a protrusion to take or pour water out into monolithic stone vessels that served as watering places.
A mill in the hamlet of Vukovići, built on one of the sources of the Cetina river, with six mill installations and a horizontal mill wheel of the spoon type.
A complex of twenty-odd traditional houses.
Roguljići and Bravići Hamlets
Traditional stone houses – mostly one- and two-story, forming separate farms using the slope of the terrain.
Grubišići have preserved the traditional settlement structure and shape of houses, as well as the use of traditional materials with minimum interventions with contemporary materials.
Municipal Center Building
Erected in 1899 opposite the parish church, thus giving shape to the Vrlika square.
A rural set of hamlets. The stone houses form farm yards, and the buildings are built one above the other, very skillfully using the slope of the terrain.
Parish Church of Our Lady of the Rosary
Built on the site of an older church from 1876. In front of the church is a memorial to Fra Filip Grabovac (the work of Stipe Sikirica).
Parish Church of the Holy Name of Jesus in Voštane
Erected in 1935 on the site of an existing older church.
Parish Church of St. John the Baptist in Grab
Erected in 1874, the church represents a single-nave edifice with a rectangular apse. The axis of the main frontage contains a belfry with double lanced windows and a pyramidal ending.
Parish Church of St. George in Vojnić with a Cemetery
Constructed in 1930s at the site of an earlier church from the 18th century. The wall surrounding the cemetery contains Roman inscriptions and reliefs.
Parish Church of St. Martin
Constructed in the 19th century with stylistic features of historicism. This single-nave edifice has a prominent semicircular apse with two rows of windows.
Parish Church of St. Michael in Trilj
Constructed in 1901, this single-nave edifice with a quadratic apse is built of finely carved stone.
Publisher: JU RERA S.D.
Editor: Gorana Baničević
Authors: K&K promocija d.o.o.
Photography: G. I. Tepeš, Ante Gugić, Željko Zrnčić, Ivan Alebić
Proofreading and copyediting: Bojana Milovski
Graphic design: K&K promocija d.o.o.