The 65 rock paintings of Astuvansalmi are the largest found in the whole of Scandinavia. The oldest paintings are made 3000 - 2500 BC. They are located at the highest level (about 11 metres). The water level changed very fast about 2,5 metres with the landslide of Vuoksi. Later on the level slowly went down 8 metres to its present level. All the later paintings have been made from boats during the different historical water-levels. The form is clearly visible during wintertime while viewed from the ice of the lake.
The Astuvansalmi rock paintings contain the following pictures: 18-20 elk, about as many human figures, tens of hands and animal tracks, 8-9 boats, geometrical figures and pictures that are thought to show a fish and a dog. The paintings could have a link to the Siberian and North European shamanistic tradition.
Other archeological artefacts have also been found on the site at the bottom of the lake, for example small amber statuettes of old gods, animal jewellery and arrowheads.
Astuvansalmi rock paintings are submitted to the Tentative List of UNESCO World Heritage Centre.References:
Olargues is a good example of a French medieval town and rated as one of the most beautiful villages in France. It was occupied by the Romans, the Vandals and the Visigoths. At the end of the 11th century the Jaur valley came under the authority of the Château of the Viscount of Minerve. The following centuries saw a succession of wars and epidemics, and it was not until the 18th century that Olargues became re-established. This was due to the prosperity of local agriculture and artisanal industry.
The Pont du Diable, 'Devil's Bridge', is said to date back to 1202 and is reputed to be the scene of transactions between the people of Olargues and the devil. The old village is clustered around the belltower, which was formerly the main tower of the castle (Romanesque construction). The old shops have marble frontages and overhanging upper storeys. A museum of popular traditions and art is to be found in the stairs of the Commanderie.