Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Classical horsemanship in Vienna as a Cultural Heritage of Humanity!


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 outfitted  between 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. )


Mimi Brad Pallin Henry Southworth said...


Mimi Brad Pallin Henry Southworth said...


Melody Steenkamp said...

Always a feast for the eye.... how wonderful it must be to walk there

Have a nice abc-day / - week
♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (abc-w-team)

Hildred said...


Roger Owen Green said...

you always seem to have culture!

Hels said...

I am usually not a fan of animals trained to amuse humans, especially aristocratic boys. But this is indeed the most beautiful riding hall in the world and the horses really do perform superbly.

Trubes said...

What a wonderful Vacation that must have been,
Vienna is a wonderful city to Visit, absolutely oozing
with history and culture, and to see the beautiful Lippizan
horses and their rider perform, what a treat!
looking forward to reading more about your VACATION !

Best wishes.
ABCW team.

Dina said...

Shalom Di / Trubes. I know it's a V-word, but my 36 days in Austria were not what most would call a VACATION. Mostly I was working for my room and board at a wonderful Franciscan farming commune south of Vienna. I took a few days at the end to experience wonderful Vienna. And fortunately for my budget I came to the Spanish Riding School on a day when there was no performance. That's OK though; just being close to the horses on a stable tour was exciting enough!

Hels, I know what you mean. But here I enjoyed seeing and learning how these horses are pampered and respected, complete with vacations in alpine meadows and retirement benefits.

Friends, thanks for all your nice comments!

VP said...

That is so quintessential Austrian and Mitteleuropean...

José Mendonça said...

Beautiful Vienna!

Christopher Kerry Scott Sophie Johnson said...


William Kendall said...

Gorgeous shots. I'd love to see Vienna for myself someday.

Alice said...

Lovely photos Dina

Kay said...

What a beautiful city, Dina. You really got to see so much! I really admire your sense of adventure and how you get around everywhere on your own.