A major tourist hub along the Alsace Wine Route, the town of Ribeauvillé is framed by fantastic scenery of vineyards and rolling hills lying on the edge of the Vosges. The mountain flanking the town is crowned by three ruined feudal castles, giving this site an enchanting touch.
Renowned for its Riesling and Gewurtztraminer white wines, the vineyards of Ribeauvillé produce local Grands Crus Kirchberg, Osterberg and Geisberg.
The street of Grand’Rue acts as the spinal cord of the town. Most of Ribeauvillé’s finest houses and monuments are found along the narrow main street, including the 13th century Butchers’ Tower (Tour des Bouchers) which separates the lower to the higher parts of town. Other houses of interest are the Pfifferhüs (former house of the fife-playing minstrels), the Halle au Blé (covered corn exchange hall), the Elephant Inn from 1522, the 18th century Town-Hall and its small museum with a prestigious collection of silver and gold items.
Ribeauvillé and its vicinity were the possession of the powerful Lords of Ribeaupierre, a local dynasty who built the three castles which still dominate the town. The ruins are accessible by hiking footpaths from the town.
The Saint-Ulrich castle is by far the most impressive, although the smallest at 528 meters. Saint Ulrich is also the oldest: its construction started in the 11th century. The castle features three architectural styles: Romanesque, Gothic and Early Renaissance.
The Girsberg castle, built in the 13th century by the Ribeaupierre, was given to house the knights of Girsberg in 1304.
The Haut-Ribeaupierre castle is the highest of the three at 642 meters. Only the circular keep stands today, on top of which there is a commanding view over the Alsace Plain and the Black Forest (Germany) in the distance.
Our accommodations are also at 15 mn from Kaysersberg
the “Mountain of the Emperor”, certainly deserves its prestigious name. A tourist hotspot, the little city houses the most beautiful half-timbered houses of the Renaissance in Alsace in its entirely pedestrian centre.
The city of Kaysersberg and its viticulture are dominated by the castle ruins, which only consists now of a beautiful round tower. The view from its summit offers a panorama of the city, the valley of the Weiss, the vineyards and the Plain.
Text of Ribeauvillé and Kaysersberg from frenchmoments Alsac Wine Route
PHOTO extraite de paysdemerveille