St. Ulrich Castle
St. Ulrich Castle, locally known as Château de Saint-Ulrich, Ulrichsburg or Château de Grand-Ribeaupierre, lies north of the village of Ribeauvillé in the Haut-Rhin department in France. This area is also known as the Southern Alsace or the Vosges.
St. Ulrich Castle is one of the 3, so-called, Ribeauvillé Castles. The others are; Girsberg Castle, which is opposite and within viewing distance and Haut-Ribeaupierre Castle, which lies further up the mountain.
The castle is built on a mountainside peak at an altitude of 520 meters. The site itself was already occupied in prehistoric times. The mention of a 'Castrum Rapoldstein' probably concerns current St. Ulrich Castle, although the earliest remains of the castle only date back to the 12th century. Building work is carried out in the 15th and 17th centuries when a barbican, a drawbridge and the southern bailey are build. Until 1573 there's still a priest officiating in the castle chapel, in spite of the progressive abandonment of the castle that is taking place.
St. Ulrich Castle is originally a residential building to which, before 1200, a keep is added at the northwest corner. The rectangular hall, presently called the Knights Hall, is build around 1200. Next to this hall are the remains of the St. Ulrich chapel which, in the 15th century, gives the castle its name. A second keep is build, around 1200, in the western corner of the castle. This keep was altered in the 14th century.
This is a nice large ruin, freely accessible and you can also climb the keep which offers great views of the surrounding area and the village of Ribeauvillé below.