Spanish Riding School

The Spanische Hofreitschule (Spanish Court Riding-School) of Vienna, Austria, is a traditional riding school for Lipizzan horses, which perform in the Winter Riding School in the Hofburg. Not only is it a center for classical dressage, the headquarters is a tourist attraction in Vienna that offers public performances as well as permitting public viewing of some training sessions. The presentation builds on four centuries of experience and tradition in classical dressage. The leading horses and riders of the school also periodically tour and perform worldwide.

Records show that a wooden riding arena was first commissioned in 1565, but it wasn't until 1729 that Emperor Charles VI commissioned the architect Joseph Emanuel Fischer von Erlach to build the white riding hall used today.

The Spanish Riding School was named for the Spanish horses that formed one of the bases of the Lipizzan breed, which is used exclusively at the school. Today the horses delivered to the Spanish Riding School are bred in a state stud in Piber in western Styria, Austria, though they originally came from a stud in Lipica (Italian: Lipizza), near Trieste in modern Slovenia, which gave its name to the breed.

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