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Spanish Riding School - Vienna

Experience the high school of classical horsemanship in perfect harmony.

Living tradition, the values of the past blending with the passion of the present

Rosette Media Rating - Tourist Attraction 9.5/10

We have accorded a very high rating for this unique world-class UNESCO attraction - to see such beautiful horses being trained is truly a cultural legacy


The Spanish Riding School in Vienna is the only institution in the world which has practiced for more than 450 years and continues to cultivate classical equitation in the Renaissance tradition of the Haute Ecole – which can also be found on UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity. The world-famous performances by the Lipizzans – the Ballet of the White Stallions – take place in the unique, baroque Winter Riding School at Hofburg Palace, built under Charles VI.



Since 1920, the stud located in the West Styrian village of Piber has been home to the famous Lipizzaners. As the only stud in Austria, Piber’s role is to breed Lipizzaner stallions which will later demonstrate their skills in the world-famous Spanish Riding School in Vienna.


These performances are the result of years of training for the rider and their Lipizzans. From the young, boisterous stallions to the fully trained School Stallions, they enchant the audience with their performance in the School Quadrille, in the Schools on and above the ground and on the Long Rein. This atmosphere and the accompanying classical Viennese music make the wonderful presentation by the rider and their Lipizzans even more enjoyable.


We went to site at Michaelerplatz 1 and it was so amazing~ truly full of tourists who have come all around the world to see these gorgeous horses! The Heldenberg in Lower Austria is the third site of the Spanish Riding School. On the one hand the stallions are trained and continually exercised at this location. On the other hand they spend their well-earned summer holiday as well as two to three additional six weeks breaks there enjoying a horse-friendly life. Moreover, in Heldenberg, third parties are given the opportunity to improve their horsemanship through various courses.



The Training

The Training offers you an insight into the exercises of the riders with their Lipizzaners. You will see both the exercise of the often still grey young stallions and the fully trained school stallions - our "white stars" - in the imperial setting of the baroque Winter Riding School, accompanied by classical Viennese music.


The Training of the horses includes relaxation exercises, the refinement and perfection of lections, as well as the targeted strengthening of muscles. To keep the horses motivated the famous Schools above ground, which are presented during the performances, can be seen only sometimes at the Training. Each stallion group is exercised according to its different training level up to High School lections.


A Guided Tour - Take a look behind the scenes of the Spanish Riding School

in an exlusive tour of the Spanish Riding School you will visit the unique baroque Winter Riding School, the Summer Riding School with one of the world’s largest oval horse walkers and the stables of the Lipizzan stallions, which have been housed in the Stallburg (one ofVienna’s most prominent Renaissance building) for more than 450 years. You will see the various locations that make up the special charm of our historic institution and you will learn about our history, equestrian traditions and about our stars – the Lipizzan stallions!



The Education of the Stallions

Remontenschule, Campagneschule and High School - From Paddock to Capriole

The training of the stallions starts at the age of about four years. The young horses move from the Lipizzan stud Piber to the training center Heldenberg where they do their first steps under the saddle. The training takes place according to the teachings of classical equitation to the directives of Excellency Holbein and Chief Rider Franz Meixner. The primary objective of this training is not fundamentally different from any other horse training and can be outlined with the goals of suppleness, obedience, permeability and tranquility. The task of the classical horsemanship is to study the natural movement predisposition of the horse and to cultivate through systematic training in the highest possible elegance of the high school.


In training people and horses are at eye level at all times and the horse determines when it is ready to learn the next lesson. The result of this approach is an incomparable harmony between rider and stallion, as it is only achieved today in the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. Lipizzaner horses are particularly suited for this task: they are frugal, strong and particularly talented for classical equitation and have an extraordinarily good memory - all qualities that the rider must know and use for the common work.



The Spanish Riding School and its Lipizzan Stud Piber, birth place and home of the world famous white stars, are honored by the UNESCO for a second time: The knowledge concerning the breeding of Lipizzan horses has been added to the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on December 1st, 2022.



Visitor center at Michaelerplatz in the Hofburg (under the Michaelerkuppel):

Michaelerplatz 1, A-1010 ViennaTel: +43 1 533 90 31-0Email: office@srs.at

 


Opening hours:

Monday to Sunday: 09:00 until 16:00 hrs

(see website for any changes in opening days/hours)


Contact:

Spanische Hofreitschule

Michaelerplatz 1

A-1010 Wien

Tel: +43 1 533 90 31-0


Website:

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