The Spanish Riding School, Vienna.

History Of The Spanish Riding School Of Vienna.

The legendary spanish riding school of Vienna, Austria, has been around for 430 years. It is the only equestrian school in the world that still practices Haute Acole, schooling methods that were aimed at building the strength and stamina needed on the battle field by war horses, this style dates back to classical Greece.


The purpose of many of the movements performed were to clear a fighting space on the battlefield for foot soldiers to better engage with the enemy. Movements still performed in classical dressage today. Now that there is no longer a need for war horses, their whole training regimen has become an art form, entertaining thousands of visitors every year.


It was around 1572 when the first “Spanish Riding School” was built, It was more than 150 years later, when the Emperor Karl VI commissioned the building of the Winter Riding School, the world famous building that has been the home of the Spanish Riding School to this very day.


Performance Hall

Performance Hall.


When Karl VI died in 1740, the hall became the venue for jousting contests and masked balls. Not quite what the emperor had in mind. During the gala performances, visitors can experience the presentations of the Lipizzans in the most beautiful riding hall in the world, originally constructed to provide aristocratic youths with a venue and the opportunity to take riding instruction of the highest standard.


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The “Spanish” part of the school’s name comes from the horses they use which originally were brought from the Spanish Peninsula during the 16th century. They were considered an especially intelligent and spirited breed, well suited to the skills of classical horsemanship. The Lipizzaner stallions are the descendants of the Spanish, Arab and Berber horses that were brought to Austria.



Should you decide to visit the school take the opportunity to attend a morning training session with music and take the guided tour available with visits to the stables. Of course the weekly Gala Performance would be the ultimate reason for your visit. Dates for performances and morning training as well as information on how to obtain tickets at

A word of warning should you go: Children under the age of 3 are not allowed to attend performances.

There is also a cafe open Tuesdays to Sundays 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. where you can enjoy coffee and many Austrian culinary delicacies. Not a good idea with my waist line, but delicious none the less.



Please leave your comments below and should you ever make the trip to Austria be sure to re visit me here and share your experiences.

Best Regards


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