The Spanish Riding School is located in the St. Michael’s Wing of the Hofburg. It is the only institution in the world where the Renaissance tradition of horsemanship has been preserved and cultivated – for more than 430 years.
Its original purpose was the equestrian training of the imperial family, and at the time it was called the “Royal and Imperial City Riding School.” Today it is one of the most important places in the world for the perseveration of classical equitation, and it specialises exclusively in the training of Lipizzaner horses.
The Riding School is part of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage and has been declared a “National Cultural Heritage Site.” The stallions come from Piber Federal Stud Farm, which is also included in UNESCO’s Cultural Heritage List.
The word “Spanish” in the title can be traced back to Emperor Ferdinand I (1503-1564) who grew up in Spain and upon his move to Vienna not only brought Andalusian horses, which proved to be superbly suited for Baroque dressage and breeding, but also a large number of Spanish riders and horse breeders.
Numerous events and tours give visitors the opportunity to better acquaint themselves with the high art of riding and the pure white stallions.