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Sisak Knightly Tournament

Are you a fan of all things medieval? The gallantry, the chivalry, the romance, the horsemanship! Well, if you are, you’ll love annual Knightly Tournament in the city of Sisak.

Why a knightly tournament in Sisak? Well, when the Ottoman Empire began it ambitious campaign to rule, well… pretty much everything really, and a fiercely defended line was drawn protecting Western Europe from incursions by the Turks. This line slashed across the map of present-day Croatia, and Sisak lay on it. That’s why an unusual triangular fortress was built there, which still stands today.

On June 22, 1593, a huge and bloody battle ended in a Christian victory over the Turks. It’s partly thanks to this that the Turks never got as far as Zagreb – something that is considered a huge deal in these parts, and the reason why the people of Sisak celebrate in 16th century style every year in June. Crowds come from far around – it’s pretty spectacular to see jousting knights under the floodlights in the fortress.

The crowd cheers for its favourite “knight” in sword battles, races on horseback and tournaments where mounted knights gallop with spears aimed at small round thingies, and try to hit other thingies with maces. The winner of the tournament is presented with a golden sword and the title “Knight of the Old Town of Sisak”, while a fireworks display lights up the night sky.

You can travel by riverboat from Mali Kaptol to the fortress, where the games take place. Boats leave every half hour 17:30-21:00. Entry to the tournament itself is free, but you’ll find a lot of tempting opportunities to part you from your cash: balloon rides, food and drink, souvenirs, chances to try your hand at knightly games... A great day (or evening) out, and kids will love it. Check out the Sisak Tourist Office website below to find out more about the town itself.

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