Rikalanmäki was one of the most remarkable Bronze and Iron Age towns in Finland. According legends, It was a very wealthy trading centre. The heyday of Rikalanmäki was in 11th and 12th centuries when Vikings and foreign merchants exchanged metals and weapons to fur from inner Finland. There are evidences of indirect trade connections even to the Arabic countries. According the legend Birger Jarl landed to the Rikala harbor to start the second crusade to Finland.
Archeologists have found several remarkable treasures from the ancient cemetery in Rikalanmäki including swords, personal equipments, money and remains of clothes. Most valuable artifacts are so-called Sword of Gicelin and silver jewels named as “Halikon käädyt”. Both findings are from the 12th century and situated to National Museum in Helsinki.
Rikalanmäki hill is one of the most significant archaeological sites in Finland as well as one of the most important cultural landscapes protected by the National Board of Antiquities in South-west Finland. A signposted archaeological trail sheds light on the rich past of the hill. Exhibitions and an open-air theatre in summer, as well as a summertime restaurant.
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.