Posted by: viewfromtheriva | October 5, 2014

Finding treasures at Split’s flea market–an antique gourd from Sinj

An authentic antique gourd, probably used for water, waiting to be discovered at Split's flea maket

An authentic antique gourd, made in Sinj, probably used for water, discovered at Split’s flea market

I’ve written before about Split’s impromptu flea market that springs up every Sunday on the kiosk-lined walkway, just up the steps and to the left of the eastern part of the Green Market.  For some reason, local authorities chase vendors away every few months, but they always re-appear and going there to browse among the flotsam and jetsam has become a ritual.

Over the years we have found some real gems–from a working old Russian wind-up clock to today’s treasure–an antique gourd from the hinterland village of Sinj.

Used for tens of centuries by many cultures to store liquids, it was in perfect condition, completely usable, with cork intact, dry, and a gorgeous patina. Beautifully proportioned, even the knotted cord around its neck was perfect.

Many cultures use gourds today–here is a Mayan-inspired gourd still used in Central America to keep water cool and hand-carved bowls used for typical village meals.


While it is always fun to haggle, when the vendor said 30kn (less than $5), I happily paid.  Another great treasure, but alas, I won’t keep it long because it’s the absolutely perfect gift for my sister’s birthday,  For more than 30 years she has been collecting tribal drinking gourds from Africa, her favorite destination.  Now she can add an authentic Dalmatian gourd to her treasure trove…..but maybe I will put in a little rakija first as a toast to her and to Sinj!



  1. Hiya
    I saw a link to your blog on trip advisor and clicked it . Very cool life you lead – cheers.
    Anyway my partner and I are doing a road trip in Croatia for a few days then driving to Germany for a party . I was wondering if there still is a flea market on Sundays in Split ?
    Be well

    • yup. we go every Sunday! And some terrific 2nd hand shops selling amazing high quality clothing for a bargain $3 a kilo on Saturday….got a wardrobe full of great jackets, some from Hugo Boss, wool and silk, linen, etc. about $2-4 each…many new, with pockets still sewn, obviously samples.

      • Hello! (:

        I just found your blog when researching markets in Split! We are going there tomorrow. I love the sound of these second hand shops priced per kilo! i would love to know where we might find one 🙂 thank you so much!


      • I’m not sure if my comment came through or not, if it did im sorry for repeating myself (: it’s just my friend and I are coming to Split tomorrow and we would love to check out the second hand shop you mentioned! if you know the address or area I would be so grateful! Thank you (:

      • There are two shops. One is off the main street in town Dominiskov Rata, just make a right turn to go to the Art Hotel and up on the left at the first traffic light is the shop.

  2. Hi, do you know of any other good flea markets in Croatia? we plan to go to the one in Zagreb but we are looking to find more as we will be driving through the whole country

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