Most horse lovers know about the Spanish Riding School in Vienna and most know that the horses ridden in the famous shows are Lipizzaners, not Spanish Andalusians. But did you know that the Lipizzan breed was created in Lipica (pronounced “Lipizza”) in what is nowadays Slovenia? If you go to Lipica, you will learn about the eventful history of a beautiful and talented breed that survived the maelstroms of wars and invasions over many centuries.
Lipica is the oldest European stud farm, breeding the same lineage without interruption. Here, you can visit this cultural and historical monument and see the 300 white horses and their black foals in their pastures and in the stables. Visit the Carriage Museum as well as the Lipikum, detailing everything there is to know about the breed.
In 1578, the Habsburg Archduke Charles founded the Lipica estate, beginning a story of passion, pride, and beauty. A Tale of Lipica, the new show of the Classical Riding School narrates the story of the exceptional stud farm heritage, the elegant white horse and its connection to the rider. It is a thing of beauty, skill and harmony!
You can also watch the schooling of the horses, with music and commentary, from the comfort of a covered ring. See how the difficult High School movements are taught to the horses. Make sure you check the training and performance schedule and book a ticket prior to your visit.
But you can also get much closer and experience how it feels to actually ride one of these talented beauties. Experienced riders can take a trail ride around the property or book a dressage lesson. Children can have a pony ride and everyone can book a carriage ride around the estate, pulled by two of the beautiful white horses.
If you book the weekly riding program or if you find there is too much to see for only one day, you can stay at the reasonably priced Hotel Maestoso which is also part of the Lipica estate and enjoy a glass of local wine with traditional Karst cuisine at the restaurant or, in season, on the beautiful terrasse overlooking the horse pastures.
The weekly riding programs are scheduled as follows:
- Day 1: Check-in after 3PM -Day 2-6: Two lessons per day. Morning lessons (Starting at 9AM or 10 AM), Afternoon lessons (Starting at 12:30 or 13:00PM) - Check-out by 3PM
Lipica is only a 15-minute drive from Trieste (Italy) and the seaside and 30 minutes from the famous Postojna cave. You can go hiking in the picturesque surroundings. The Hotel Maestoso is also a perfect starting point for trips to Venice, Trieste, the Slovenian Coast and Ljubljana.
The nearest airport is Portorož Airport, only 30 km from Hotel Maestoso.
Lipica, Karst, Slovenia