Study RegionsZakros ValleyCetina Valley

The Cetina Valley is a broad, flat plain in southern Croatia (Dalmatia), about 30 km northeast of Split. The area has a long history of human activity that began in prehistoric times. The Cetina Valley Archaeological Survey, directed by Dr. Helena Tomas (University of Zagreb), is currently working in the area to document traces of human activity from the Early Bronze Age (third millennium BC). Notable later sites include the many Iron Age hillforts scattered around the valley, a 1st-century AD Roman colony at Aequum near the modern village of Čitluk, a medieval fortress at Sinj, and medieval towers at Čačvina and Nutjak that guard the southern entrances to the valley.

Notable sites in the Cetina Valley (click to enlarge)

Dalmatia was a typical frontier zone that existed on the border of alternating powers (Ottoman, Venetian, and Habsburg). Because of this, the Cetina Valley is commonly referred to as the Cetinska krajina or “Cetina Frontier.” In the early 16th century, the Ottoman Empire conquered the Cetina Valley and the surrounding lands, incorporating it into the administrative territory of the Sanjak of Klis. In 1686 the Venetians reconquered the valley, and in 1715 they successfully defended the fortress of Sinj from an Ottoman attack. With the dissolution of the Republic of Venice, the region came under the rule of the Habsburg Monarchy (1797-1919). The frequent shifting of the frontier between these powers altered administrative policies, religious affiliations, trade partnerships, and countless other aspects of the imperial domain that directly impacted the locals who lived there.

View of the Cetina Valley from Glavice

Further Reading

Erceg, Ivan, Ante Milošević, Stijepo Obad, Marinko Perić, Ante Josip Soldo, Fehim Dž. Spaho (eds). 1989. Sinj i Cetinska krajina za vrijeme osmanlijske vlasti [Sinj and the Cetina Krajina during the Ottoman Empire]. Zbornik Cetinske krajine, Knjiga 4. Sinj: Kulturno društvo “Cetinjanin.”

Hafizović, Fazileta. 2016. Kliški sandžak od osnivanja do početka Kandijskog rata: (1537-1645.) [The Sanjak of Klis from its Foundation to the Beginning of the Candian War (1537-1645)]. Posebna izdanja 46. Sarajevo: Orijentalni Institute.

Mayhew, T. 2008. Dalmatia Between Ottoman and Venetian Rule: Contado di Zara 1645-1718. Rome: Viella.

Soldo, Fra Josip Ante. 1997. Sinjska krajina u 17. i 18. Stoljeću [The Sinj Region in the 17th and 18th centuries], 2 vols. Sinj.