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The Spanish Riding School is the oldest and last Riding School in the world where classic dressage is still practised in its purest form. This Institute was founded in 1572.
It's name was derived from the fact that the horses were of Spanish origin. The Lipizzaner is regarded to be the oldest classic horse race in Europe. The horses have been bread in Lipizza in Slovenia. Tody, there is a stud in Piber, close to Graz. Young Lipizzaner are black and only turn white when reaching maturity. They need to undergo elaborate training before they are able to perform their prancing Renaissance ballet to the sound of classical music.
The Riders of the Spanish Riding School train the horses and perform in the Winter Riding School in the Vienna Hofburg (Imperial Palace) in a splendid Baroque hall built by Josef Emanuel Fischer von Erlach between 1729 and 1735. The magnificient rooms are adorned with chandeliers and set off the performance to best effects. The presentations of classical dressage have been open to the public since 1920.
Tickets are expensive but the elegant and complicated performance will provide exquisite pleasure. The shows are often booked for months in advance. In July and August the white horses enjoy their well-deserved summer break.Spanish Riding School, Michaelerplatz 1, A-1010 Vienna
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