Description
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RIBEAUVILLE AND ITS CASTLES

Located on the Wine Route, between vineyards and mountains, Ribeauvillé is a charming town which has successfully capitalized on its heritage.
In the Middle Ages, the city was the seat of the lordship of the family of Rappolstein (whence the name of the city of Ribeauvillé). Rappolstein had built three castles, whose ruins still dominate today majestically the city and surrounding hills. All three are accessible by a footpath, on the mountainside:
  • Castle St Ulrich, (the oldest and most important of the 3 castles)
  • Girsberg the castle
  • The Haut-Rappolstein (as its name suggests, the highest of the 3 castles).
Its medieval fortifications, the city still retains some of its ramparts wall and some of its defensive towers, the "Tour des Bouchers" (13th century, rebuilt in the 18th century), which owes its name to the butchers' guild (charged in case of attack to defend the city from the tower).
Grand'rue and picturesque neighborhoods, lined with flowering abundantly constructions (15th to the 18th century), are dotted with squares with Renaissance fountains. There are many buildings that are worth visiting:
  • City Hall (18th century) and its prestigious collection of silver Hanaps (drinking cups) which were given to the city by the Counts of Rappolstein,
  • La Tour des Bouchers (13th century)
  • The former Corn Exchange, an old storehouse,
  • The house of the fiddlers (a house with a uniquely decorated façade dating from 1683) etc. ...

Many festivals punctuate the calendar of events of this common, including "Pfifferdaj" (Feast of Fiddlers) which perpetuates the memory of the meetings of the Brotherhood of Fiddlers of Alsace which met from 1481 in Ribeauvillé to elect their king there. This festival, the oldest of Alsace, that alternates floats presentation and brass bands (according to a different theme each year, linked to the medieval period), is still celebrated in Ribeauvillé the first Sunday of September.