Haut-Ribeaupierre Castle lies north of the village of Ribeauvillé in the Haut-Rhin province in France. This area is also known as the Southern Alsace or the Vosges.
Haut-Ribeaupierre Castle was also known as 'Altenkastel' (Old Castle). It's on an altitude of 640 meters and the site was first mentioned in 1038. This mention could apply to the large enclosure which Haut-Ribeaupierre occupies partially.
In the 12th century the Lords of Ribeaupierre moved down the mountain to build St. Ulrich Castle. But in the 13th century they reoccupied the mountain top and built Haut-Ribeaupierre Castle. In 1254 this castle was called Altenkastel perhaps in reference to the earlier enclosure. In 1287 the castle is besieged by Rodolphe de Habsbourg because of a conflict he had with its keeper; Anselme de Ribeaupierre. However he didn't succeed and ended the siege after only 3 days. In the 16th century the castle was primarily used as an observation post to watch out for fires and approaching enemies. During the 17th century it was used as a regional prison.
The round keep, dating to the first half of the 13th century, dominates the castle. There's a cistern in the bailey and the entrance was formerly equipped with a drawbridge in the 14th-16th century.
This is a nice ruin although access is prohibited, especially of the keep were there are 2 iron stairs that are in danger of collapse.