Ach, just a few weeks ago I was here in Vienna; how I miss that city!
It was raining that Sunday when I first saw the Hofburg Palace.
At its gates, Christmas market booths were doing a brisk business with hot Gluhwein.
Inside the palace is the most beautiful riding hall in the world, a Baroque masterpiece
1729 and 1735.
It was originally built to give aristocratic youths an opportunity to take riding instruction.
The two men in my photo were installing a new sound system in this Winter Riding School for the international audiences who come to see the Lipizzaner stallions perform.
Emperor Charles VI commissioned the building of the arena.
You can faintly see a tall painting of a white horse.
The guide on this tour explained that the monarch later had his own image added so that it became a portrait of himself on horseback.
Guide Sophia was good at explaining everything in just one hour.
She was strict, though, that we should not take pictures of the horses or the stables. :(
Till today the tradition is for the riders to doff their hats to that same portrait of the emperor when they enter his arena.
I'll soon have another post or two about Vienna's wonderful Spanish Riding School.
You can see my previous posts here and here, which have links to more information about the horses and the school.
The BIG NEWS is that the Spanische Hofreitschule has just now been inscribed in UNESCO's 2015 Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity!!
Be sure to see what they tell about classical horsemanship and see the photos at the bottom of the page, plus a wonderful video!
(For ABC Wednesday, V is for Vienna!)
(Linking also to Camera Critters. )