Largely burned during World War II and later mostly demolished, Ribnica Castle beside the Bistrica River belonged in the group of early castles built mainly in the second half of the 12th century. It included a two- or three-story residence and an interior courtyard with a cistern protected by a wall.
In the Middle Ages, the basic interior circumference was strengthened, and at the end of the 15th century and in the 16th century it was surrounded by a new circle of wall with towers that assumed the burden of defense against possible enemy attacks.
Today, only part of this wall with its arcades and two towers remain of the once powerful, moat-surrounded complex that in later centuries was increasingly transformed into a comfortable aristocratic residence. Despite the fact that most of the castle was destroyed, it still serves as a cultural center. Under the auspices of the Miklova House Public Institute, it houses a small museum with an ethnographic exhibit of Ribnica's famous woodenware and pottery and an archeology exhibit of discoveries from the Bronze Age.
The wedding marches that echo from the Wedding Hall on Saturdays bring back the flavour of earlier castle festivities. A cultural park with statues of famous Ribnica personages has been arranged inside the walls among the remains of the foundations along with a small Forma Viva sculpture exhibition and a summer theatre that hosts a festival of amateur theatres every year. Every first Sunday in September sees performances accompanying the Ribnica Fair.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.