|Sažetak rada na drugom jeziku (engleski)|| |
After a long period of insecurity and stagnation caused by Turkish raids in the Kaštela area during the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries, a more stable period began with the second Austrian government which continued until 1918. During the 19th century Donja Kaštela developed due to the progress of economical, educational, cultural and social processes. Agriculture and trade were developing and soon tourism started to develop. At the beginning of the 1860s, Dalmatia was affected by the National revival and Kaštela's municipalities were among the first to take part in this movement. Thus, at the end of the 19th and early 20th century, numerous cultural and educational societies were founded in Donja Kaštela: reading-rooms, libraries, music societies, singing choirs, amateur drama societies, etc. Consequently, Donja Kaštela had become the focal point of cultural and social life of this area. Harsh political struggles between the ruling People's Party and the oppositional Party of Rights were led, among other means, through these societies. Members of both parties were well aware that giving great attention to social life was a very effective way to gain party influence in the public, so they mediated in the establishment of new cultural-educational societies. Archaeological excavations in this period at the Miri site and in the vicinity of the church of St. Martha in Bijaći pointed out the importance of this area within the national history. The task of the aforementioned societies was to spread and strengthen the Croatian national idea, and it was important to nourish the Croatian language as well as to preserve the historical and national heritage.