Mentioned for the first time in 1038, an Alsatian lord, Reinbaud, lived here in his keep: ″It’s mine!!″ said he. So, he naturally called it Reinbeaupierre (″Reinbaud’s rock″). His ancestors changed their name into Ribeaupierre, Rappolstein in German… A powerful family! Yes, they were kings of Bavaria’s ancestors!
And to establish their power, they needed a real stronghold: so they raised an amazing big circular keep flanks by a rampart, located on a high rocky spur… An impregnable lair! Inside the rampart, they raised two dwelling houses.
And between 1220 and 1250, those lords started to extend the place: they added a square keep to the south and a rectangular building, too: here, we still can see the gorgeous ″Knights’ room″! This vast room is decorating with delicate Gothic windows. Pretty unusual, for such a massive fortress, isn’t it?
Hey: in the 13th century, a chap called Anselme de Ribeaupierre inherited from his dad. But he wanted to keep his inheritance! To share it with his brothers?? No way! So, he was besieged by Rodolphe de Habsbourg, who wanted to punish him.
But Saint-Ulrich was impregnable… so we had to wait 6 years, to see another king trying another siege! One succeeded in, and arrested Anselme. Of course, this one was forced to share his inheritance with his brothers! So there...
The proud dynasty of the Ribeaupierre died out in 1673: so, their successors abandoned the castle little by little… First, we had the bishop of Basel. Bishops who gave Saint-Ulrich one day to a lord called d'Eguenolf d'Urslingen… who soon changed his name for Ribeaupierre!
Well, a pretty nice name, isn’t it? And easier to pronounce than Urslingen! But when in the 15th century they raised the chapel of Saint-Ulrich, in the middle of the fortress, this one had to change name: Ribeaupierre became Saint-Ulrich...
Saint-Ulrich is part of the 3 medieval fortresses of the city of Ribeauvillé, with the Girsberg and the Haut-Ribeaupierre. We discover: the square keep and the main building (12th c.), the Knights’ room and the Big tower (13th c.), the rampart (14th c.) and the chapel of Saint-Ulrich (15th c.)...