"The bond between Croatia's North and South" - "With ganga and bukara"

Cista Velika, August, locality of Zadužbina

The bond between Croatia's North and South

With ganga and bukara

There is no such thing as perfection, there is specificity


The area of Cista Velika is full of historical localities: early Christian necropolis, tombstones-stećci, ruins and wells.

Crkvine-early Christian  necropolis.   Before World War II, don Lovro Katić started with first research which was  ended by the War. In 1993, a team led by dr. Neven Cambi continued this research.

They found remains of five early Christian Churches. The oldest one was with the longest apse.  On that apse, a lot of frescoes that were a part of its decoration, were found.

A lot of pillars from altar rails, fragments of late ancient ceramics and graves were  also found.

Crljavica is a place well- known for its abundance of well-preserved tombstones.  They are all mostly decorated with simple ornaments. In the whole territory, there are 16 sarcophagus tombstones, 56 cases and 15 boards.


The main road connecting  Imotski and Sinj, goes through Cista Velika.  It’s interesting that it goes the same route as the ancient roman via that, at the time, was a very important road in the Salona- Narona direction.

Construction of  the first school started at the initiative of priest don Lovro Banovic. He concluded the agreement   on the construction in the amount of 10500 Austrian krones.

The construction was finished on 25 June 1911.

Cista Velika is located in the heart of Dalmatian Zagora, in the Imotski region.  Traces of settlement date back far into the past, which we can see in many historical sites: tombstones, forts and wells from the Ottoman  times. In this area, many civilisations have changed and left many traces visible even today. Some of the traces are being explored today. A few localities are under protection of UNESCO.

The most valuable thing left in oral tradition is ganga singing, protected by UNESCO as non-material cultural heritage that needs urgent protection and continuity.

In Cista Velika, every year the festival “The bond between Croatia's North and South" - "With ganga and bukara” is held and tries to water all those thirsty of cultural-traditional expression and fun.

It is designed in the way that it uses audio visual research to make a small history of the identity of one community.  It is focused  on revitalization and revalorisation  of  the traditional  Croatian culture and way of life, with performances of singers of traditional singing styles (ganga, rera, ojkalica, bećarac),players of traditional instruments, performances of amateur theatre groups staging traditional way of life, literary and poetry evenings of Croatian writers and ethnographic heritage  workshops. The first festival was held  in 2007, in hamlet Rojnice and since 2009, it takes place every August at Zadužbina  locality,  on the occasion of  Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving   Day and the Day of Croatian Defenders.


Zadužbina is a village  500m south of Saint Jacob Church where we can see one tombstone sarcophagus  with  plinth, six stands of tombstones and two stands without tombstones. Almost all were decorated. 

This is a natural arena in the surrounding of tombstones, wells, stone dry walls, ashes and immortelles.  The festival is organized by Cista Velika and Friends of Zagreb Club and Croatian Homeland War Volunteer Veterans Association.

The last two days of the festival the competition in traditional sports and games is held. While the final evening of the festival includes traditional music with special emphasis on young singers and players (under 25) who  will be specially rewarded.  Thereby we ensure the continuity of our tradition.


Club Cista Velika and friends Zagreb, Kozarčaninova  9, Zagreb

Savings account number for payments:

 Zagrebačka banka Zagreb 

žr.r.: 2360000-1101888516        

IBAN:  HR5623600001101888516

MB 2028174    OIB 37394572990

Our current activities and plans for the future can be found at:



Contact:  Frane Rojnica

               Mob.: 098 236 237

               e-mail.  klubcistevelike @ gmail.com