While you are in Vienna, we can arrange for you to see a performance of the graceful Lipizzaner horses at Vienna’s Spanish Riding School, a tradition that dates back to the days of the Habsburg empire. The Ballet of the White Horses features elegant all-white horses, clad in traditional gold-plated breastplates and cruppers, performing to the tune of orchestral music.
The performance is held in the Winter Riding School arena, located inside the Imperial Palace and commissioned by the artistically inclined Emperor Charles VI. The arena is easy to mistake for a Baroque-era ballroom with its white coffered ceilings dotted with stucco flowers and the trio of tiered crystal chandeliers illuminating the arena.
The Spanish Riding School has been practicing for more than 450 years, cultivating classical equitation in the Renaissance tradition of haute école. While you’re there for a performance, you can also visit the café at the riding school for coffee and small bites to eat.
Crystal chandeliers glimmering, stucco flowers, a white, coffered ceiling. The Winter Riding School arena at the Spanish Riding School is considered one of the most beautiful riding arenas in the world. We can arrange tickets for you to see this two-hour show that will let you watch as the riders show their skill and finesse through a variety of riding styles.
Located in Hofburg Palace in Old Town Vienna, the Spanish Riding School is one of the most prestigious classical riding academies in the world. A wooden arena for the school was initially built in 1565, but in 1729, the art-loving Habsburg emperor Charles VI commissioned the new arena, designed in a late baroque-era style.
The horses are meticulously trained over a course of years, beginning at the age of four when their bodies are fully mature. Training focuses on basics at first, concentrating on building muscle and movement to allow the horses a safe transition to the more complicated skills. Training differs slightly depending on a horse’s needs and abilities, and it takes about six years to finish.
Aside from their bright coats and choreographed routines, the horses are also known for their airs above the ground skills, in which the horses leap completely off the ground.
While you’re at Hofburg Palace to see the horses perform their flying changes and half-pirouettes, you can also stop by the hidden café at the Spanish Riding School. The café offers a taste of Viennese coffeehouse culture, in addition to small bites to eat.