RAPPOLTSWEILER (French Ribeauville), a town of Germany, in the imperial province of Alsace-Lorraine. Pop. (1905) 5986. It lies at the entrance of the valley of the Strengbach, under the eastern slope of the Vosges mountains, 33 m. S.W. of Strassburg on the railway to Basel, being connected with its station on that line, 22 m. distant, by a tramway. It is in part surrounded by ancient walls, and has many picturesque medieval houses, and two old churches, of St Gregory and St Augustine, both fine Gothic buildings. The town hall contains a valuable collection of antiquities. The Carolabad, a saline spring with a temperature of 64° F., which had a great repute in the middle ages, was rediscovered in 1888, and made Rappoltsweiler a watering-place. The industries include the spinning and weaving of cotton and wool, printing, dyeing and tanning, while there is a brisk trade in wine.
Rappoltsweiler, known in the 8th century as Rathaldovilare, passed from the bishops of Basel to the lords of Rappoltstein, who were among the most famous nobles in Alsace. The lord of Rappoltstein was the king or protector of the wandering minstrels of the land, who purchased his protection by paying him a tax. When the family became extinct in 1673 this office of king of the pipers (Pfeiferkonig) passed to the counts palatine of Zweibriicken-Birkenfeld. The minstrels had a pilgrimage chapel near Rappoltsweiler, dedicated to their patron saint, Maria von Dusenbach, and here they held an annual feast on the 8th of September. Near the town are the ruins of three famous castles, Ulrichsburg, Girsberg and Hohrappoltstein, which formerly belonged to the lords of Rappoltstein._ See Bernhard, Recherches sur l'histoire de la vine de Rappoltsweiler (Colmar, 1888); and Kube, Rappoltsweiler, das Carolabad and Umgebung (Strassburg, 1905). For the lords of Rappoltstein, see Brieger, Die Herrschaft Rappoltstein (Strassburg, 1907).
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