Intangible Cultural Heritage in Austria

Classical horsemanship and the High School of the Spanish Riding School

Applicant: Spanische Hofreitschule - Bundesgestüt Piber Ges.ö.R., Mag. Erwin Klissenbauer
Province: Vienna
Domain: Oral Traditions
Year of inclusion: 2010

To this day, the Spanish Riding School communicates the high art of classical horsemanship by passing it down orally from one generation of horsemen and horsewomen to the next as well as displaying it publicly in equestrian performances. Young aspiring horsemen learn valuable lessons both from their more advanced peers, as well as from the stallions themselves.

For more than 430 years, the Spanish Riding School in Vienna has bred its own horses, the Lipizzaner, and has preserved a form of horsemanship that had already had its heyday in the world of the ancient Greeks. This tradition has survived every political system and upheaval that has affected Austria up to now. The Spanish Riding School has had the task of preserving and maintaining classical horsemanship in the public interest since 2001.