The castle was probably built in the 13th century most likely in place of an ancient Estonian stronghold. The bailiwick of Karksi was first mentioned in 1248. The stronghold had a chapel dedicated to Apostle Peter. The first reference was made to a local clergyman in 1298. The present stone church, very simple in design, was built in the same place between 1773 and 1778. St. Peter’s Church is in the ruins of Karksi castle. The tower of the church is leaning, the inclination of the tower’s top is 205 cm at the moment. In 1994 it was decided to save the tower using complicated "construction surgery" developed while stabilizing structures in the old town of Tartu. Eight 10- metre-tall bored piles along with concrete beams penetrating foundations form a new bearing surface for the tower. As a result, the further leaning of the tower has stopped.
On the way which takes you to the stronghold, in the former cemetery of the Knights of the Order of the Sword, stands a nice Baroque chapel among trees, built in the early 18th century by Field Marshal George Reinhold von Lieven, the owner of the Karksi manorial estate. The coats of arms of the Lievens and the Mannteuffels have been fixed to the chapel doors. The chapel, similarly, was built with one side on the former foundation and therefore is somewhat leaning. The buildings of the Karksi manor have perished.
Manarola is a small town, a frazione of the comune of Riomaggiore. It is the second-smallest of the famous Cinque Terre towns frequented by tourists, with a population of 353.
Manarola may be the oldest of the towns in the Cinque Terre, with the cornerstone of the church, San Lorenzo, dating from 1338. The local dialect is Manarolese, which is marginally different from the dialects in the nearby area. The name 'Manarola' is probably a dialectical evolution of the Latin, 'magna rota'. In the Manarolese dialect this was changed to 'magna roea' which means 'large wheel', in reference to the mill wheel in the town.
Manarola's primary industries have traditionally been fishing and wine-making. The local wine, called Sciacchetrà, is especially renowned; references from Roman writings mention the high quality of the wine produced in the region.