Discover Vienna: The Spanish Riding School

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 1,224 views

ESCToday in collaboration with Vienna Tourist Board ( will be bringing you a series of articles leading up to the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in order to showcase and introduce the 2015 Eurovision host city Vienna to our readers. Today we will have a look at one of Vienna’s most visited attractions, The Spanish Riding School.

The Spanish Riding School in Vienna must not be missed when you visit the 2015 Eurovision host city. It is indeed one of the most sought after attractions in the Austrian capital. If you love horses and music, then you’re in for a treat!

The Spanish Riding School in Vienna with its famous Lipizzan ballet can be experienced live in the baroque ambiance of the Imperial Palace. You can admire riding skills of the highest order – from pirouettes to caprioles.

The Spanish Riding School in Vienna is the only institution in the world where the classic equestrian skills (haute école) has been preserved and is still practiced in its original form. Many years of training fuse horse and rider into an inseparable unit. The audience is treated to an unforgettable experience by the precision of movement of the Lipizzan horses in perfect harmony with the music.

In the course of gala performances, visitors experience unique presentations of the Lipizzans in the most beautiful riding hall in the world, which was impressively outfitted by baroque architect Joseph Emanuel Fischer von Erlach between 1729 and 1735. It was originally built to provide aristocratic youths with the opportunity to take riding instruction.

On 26 June 2015, the Spanish Riding School celebrates the 450th anniversary of its first mention with a grand gala on Heldenplatz.

Morning training with music gives a good impression into the training program of the White Stallions; the guided tours include visits to the stables.

The Lippizzaners Morning Exercise

The morning exercise offers an insight into the years of training of the Lipizzaners and their riders. Accompanied by classical Viennese music the riders and their horses do simple relaxing exercises and exercises aimed at refining and perfecting a certain movement. Through the specific strengthening and building up of the muscles, the horses’ natural movements are developed into the perfect figures of the High School of Classical Horsemanship.

As we do not want to put too much strain on the horses, the classical School Jumps, which are shown during the performances, are not practised on a daily basis.

Tickets cannot be booked in advance for the Morning Exercise. Tickets are available at the Visitor Centre at Michaelerplatz (during the high season also at the Box Office at Josefsplatz).

Adults: € 14,00
Vienna Card: Euro 12,00
Senior citizens (over 65 years), students (up to 27 years): € 10,00
Children (over 6 years), pupils (up to 18 Years): € 7,00

The Lipizzans’ Performances

The Lipizzaners are Europe‘s oldest horse breed. These intelligent and lively horses are bred from Spanish, Italian and Arab bloodlines. With their classic physique and grace they are ideally suited for the representative style of the High School of Classical Horsemanship.

You can witness the result of years of training of horse and rider in more than 75 classical performances a year in the dignified setting of the baroque Winter Riding School – from the young, boisterous stallion to the fully trained School Stallion, who enchants the audience with his performance in the School Quadrille, in the Schools on and above the ground and on the Long Rein.

The lighting concept, which was realized by the renowned multimedia artist André Heller, emphasises the unique baroque architecture of the Winter Riding School and subsequently turns the performance into an even more memorable experience.

Guided Tours

IN AN EXCLUSIVE TOUR of the Spanish Riding School you will visit the Winter Riding School, a gem of Baroque architecture, the Summer Riding School which houses the world’s largest oval horse walker and the stables in the Stallburg, Vienna’s most significant Renaissance building with its beautiful arcade courtyard and the historical stables of the Lipizzaner stallions.

You will see the various locations which account for the special charm of this establishment and you will learn about the Spanish Riding School‘s history, the equestrian tradition and about the Lipizzaner stallions.

The Spanish Riding School is located at the Hofburg Palace complex in Vienna, right  opposite The Sisi Museum, The State Apartments and the Silver Collection.

You can get to the Spanish Riding School via Vienna’s metro U-Bahn. The SRS is located at 1 Michaelerplatz and you can access it via U-Bahn: U1 and U3 and get down at Stephansplatz/ U1 and get down at Herrengasse.

For more information on Vienna you can visit and for the latest news on ESC 2015 in Vienna  ORF’s Eurovision website in German.

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