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(Vienna time)

Lipizzaner Museum

Update: The Museum is closed

Within the stables complex (German: Stallburg) of the Spanish Riding School you'll find a small museum dedicated to the history and heritage of the school's horses - the Lipizzaners.

The entrance and gift shop is in the former Imperial and Royal Court Pharmacy. You can see the original draws labelled with exotic herbs around the sides of the room. The shop sells CDs, DVDs, books, toys, shirts, caps, prints and various other Lipizzaner paraphernalia.

The museum itself is relatively small - just a handful of vaulted rooms which take you through the history of the breed, the stud and stable facilities and the art of riding, before giving some detail of the modern-day life of a Lipizzaner and the performances they give.

Front of the museum

So you'll see paintings, photos and videos, and equipment such as old bridles and harnesses. What's especially nice is that all the information displays include a full English translation - a rarity in Vienna.

I would recommend a visit if you're going to watch the horses perform or train. The museum gives you an awareness of the cultural and historical context of what you'll see, as well as an understanding of what it is the horses are actually doing. Otherwise, though, it's really only for Lipizzaner fans.

Some highlights:

The museum is very central, just to the side of the square that joins the main shopping area in the city center with the Hofburg Palace, and within a few minutes walking distance of various public transport lines:

U1: Station Karlsplatz or Stephansplatz
U2: Station Karlsplatz or Volkstheater
U3: Station Herrengasse or Stephansplatz
U4: Station Karlsplatz

Tram: 63 or 65 to Karlsplatz
D, J, 1 or 2 to any stop between Karlsplatz and Dr. Karl Renner Ring

2A to Michaelerplatz
3A to Habsburgergasse

Address: Lipizzaner Museum, Reitschulgasse 2, 1010 Vienna
Website: (includes a full English version)