Spanish Riding School Vienna is the world’s most famous performer of traditional horse riding art.
The riding school is located within Hofburg palace‘s ‘Winter Riding School‘ section, within a building (from 1735) that was designed by Joseph Fischer von Erlach.
Main venue for the shows is the Baroque ‘Great Hall‘, a gallery supported by 16 magnificent Corinthian columns.
Historically, Great Hall is best known as one of the central venues for the ‘dancing congress’ of Vienna, 1814/1815.
Today, in its purest traditional form, the classic horse riding art is upheld only in Vienna, and the Spanish Riding School is also the oldest school of its kind.
Its history goes back to 1572, when, under the name “Spanish Riding Stalls“, the school got its first Lipizzaner horses, as Emperor Maximilian II imported them from Spain, at the time part of Austrian empire.
PHOTO: Spanish Riding School entrance from Josefsplatz square.
Nowadays, the performers still wear their historical uniforms, and ride the traditional Lipizzaner horses, a cross breed between Andalusian, Arabian, and Neapolitan horses.
Throughout their existence, Lipizzaner horses, originally black, but now mostly white, have shown their capabilities from battlefields to horse-ballets…
…and their graceful appearance made Emperor Franz Joseph to assign them also the role of royal carriage horses.
Tickets for the Spanish Riding School performances are in high demand. This is why you should consider getting your tickets well in advance, with some shows sold out months in advance.
A cheaper and more accessible alternative is to visit one of the morning practice sessions, where you can see most key parts of the performance.
Spanish Riding School Vienna
Address: Michaelerplatz 1, Hofburg, 1010 Vienna, Austria
Official website: www.SRS.at
The official website also direct-sells tickets to the shows.