The castle of Črni Kal was noted in the 11th century. Apart from being a resting place for traders and travellers, it was also the place of the conflict between the Habsburgs and the Venetians for the dominance of Koper.
The ruins of a castle overlooking Črni Kal, called Town or Old Town by domicile inhabitants, stand on a cliff some 30 meters high that once could be reached only by a four-meter-long drawbridge. Situated on the road through the Rižana Valley towards Klanec, between the Adriatic Coast and the interior, on the border between the Venetian and Habsburg interests, Črni Kal was mentioned as early as the 11th century.
Following the war fought against the Turks, the entire defensive complex, including Črni Kal, was taken over by the Koper municipality. It was a resting-place for tradesmen and travellers, but also a place where conflicts for the supremacy of Koper, the Habsburgs took place, as well as attacks by the Uskoks. As the fortress of Črni Kal was not strategically as important to the Venetians as Socerb, they handled the defeat from Habsburg General Krsto Frankopan with ease as well as its conquest following the attack on the area surrounding Venetian Koper, when it was pillaged by the Emperor followers. Črni Kal, controlling the entire valley, during the Uskok War and together with Socerb, represented the major point from where the Habsburg soldiers invaded their enemy. As the period from the early 15th until the first half of the 17th century was noted for its frequent pillagings, the unapproachable camp was established beneath the fort for the locals to store their possessions.
Today, the cliff at Črni Kal is a popular climbing site. It offers rock-climbing fans a variety of routes with different climbing grades and lengths all year round. A local attraction is the 'leaning tower', a belfry of St. Valentine's Church from the 17th century which inclines as a result of the caving in of the ground.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.