OrganizationSRS in Vienna
Living tradition, the values of the past blending with the passion for the present.
When one hears the term Spanish Riding School, one immediately has the wonderful, dancing white horses in mind – even if one is not interested in equestrian at all. In the magnificent baroque winter riding school at the Hofburg in Vienna, Austria´s stunning capital, exclusive impressions from the world-famous performances of the Lipizzaners are shown in gala performances accompanied by classical Viennese music.
The Ballet of the White Stallions is a performance of horsemanship in such perfection and at the same time grace that it touches the audience deep inside. The riders and their Lipizzaners perform in such harmony, that it seems as if they were one. The highlight of the performance is the classical quadrille, which is probably only ridden to such perfection at the Spanish Riding School.
Supporting cultural assets means preserving the past and bringing the future to life with experience. The Spanish Riding School has exactly this approach, to preserve the cultural heritage of the Lipizzaner and to make it a world cultural heritage through community work.
The Spanish Riding School in Vienna is the oldest riding school and the only institution in the world where classical horsemanship in the Renaissance tradition of the "High School" has been alive and well for more than 450 years and continues to be cultivated unchanged - which is why it is also listed as an intangible UNESCO cultural heritage of humanity. The Stallburg, which houses 72 of the famous white stallions, is Vienna's oldest and most important Renaissance building, built-in 1565, located in the centre of Austria´s capital.
The Lipizzaner stud farm in Piber has four hundred years of knowledge about breeding horses for the special performances they have achieved, especially at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna has made them world-famous. The Lipizzaner Stud Piber has the task of breeding the oldest cultured horse breed in Europe - the Lipizzaners - whose origins go back to imperial times, to the year 1580. The heart of the Lipizzaner breeding in Piber are the broodmares: they ensure the offspring, and they are given very special attention here.
In 2015, the tradition of Classical Horsemanship and the High School of the Spanish Riding School was admitted to the UNESCO’s world heritage list of “intangible cultural heritage of humanity”. In 2016, the knowledge of breeding of the Lipizzan Stud Piber was added to The UNESCO list of Austria.
The main objective for the future is not only to be part of the UNESCO list in Austria, but (together with all Lipizzaner studs in the EU) to make the Lipizzaner breed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Spanish Riding School connects its traditional values with modern, innovative events and products – e.g., various programs with other famous Austrian institutions, such as the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra or the Vienna Boy Choir, it has always been a meeting place for opinion leaders, international businessmen, athletes, artists, celebrities, and royal families around the world, and is therefore of great social importance. The events and special programs of the Spanish Riding School bring together people from all art disciplines.
How do we support them?
The VGP Foundation finances necessary ground and foundation works, refurbishment of existing buildings and erection of needed new installations:
- new oval horse walker at the Lipizzaner Stud
- refurbishment of the historic riding hall at the Lipizzaner Stud
- completion of outdoor facilities at the new stables for retired stallions
- new paddocks in front of every horsebox