Vienna's Favorite Sight: The World Famous Lipizzaner Stallions

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Vienna’s Favorite Sight: The World Famous Lipizzaner Stallions

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I went to Vienna, Austria to trace my family tree. My great-great grandfather spent a short amount of time in Vienna while searching for a place to start his bakery. But, when I got to Vienna, it was the famous horses I wanted to see. Watching the world famous Lipizzaner Stallions was number one on my Vienna bucket list. I had to see the Dancing Stallions, so I walked up to the ticket window on the day of the show and bought my $152.00 ticket directly from the office. I met two other solo travelers, single women traveling alone, and at that moment we were sisters. We were all here to see the beloved horses, the Dancing Stallions.

The World Famous Lipizzaner Stallions

I confess, my first love is drawing, riding, and being around horses. I am a self-confessed ‘horse girl’ I love everything about horses and my favorite sport is horseback riding. My grandfather used to bribe me with all the things that had to do with horses. He even promised me a horse if my father built a barn. Actually, my grandfather was punishing my father with that promise.  The barn was never built, and I never got a horse.

The Entrance

On this sunny day, I walked to the ticket counter and asked for the best ticket available. In actuality, the seat was far from the best seat. The seat location was next to a post which slightly blocked my view, but, I didn’t care.  I was thrilled to be attending the 11:00 am horse show and could hardly contain myself.  So excited, after a quick stop to the ladies room I searched for my seat.  The audience grew, and when the lights dimmed a hush fell over the crowd. There was excitement in the air, and everyone knew the star attractions were about to enter the room.

The World Famous Lipizzaner Stallions entrance area

Going back to Roman times, Lipizzaner Stallions are the best of all horses, a war machine of sorts, designed for military precision, the perfect blend of strength and grace.

The Nazi’s had a way of collecting the most exotic animals, best wine, and most exquisite art. The Nazi’s were obsessed with the horses and went to all means to capture them. The Austrian people adored these animals and risked their lives to hide and protect them from the Nazi’s.  Eventually, the Nazi stole the horses. When The Perfect Horse needed rescue, a daring U.S. rescue mission saved the priceless stallions kidnapped by the Nazis. 

Today, the horse’s freedom is due to the brave people who loved these horses. The Lipizzaner Stallions are an Austrian treasure from the bygone Romain times in Austria and the Hapsburg Reign. Thankfully, the U.S. soldiers were among many who saved Lipizzaner Stallions for the Austrian people.

Center Stage

As the lights dim, the announcer states, don’t take photos of the horses during the show for their protection. The shadow of the horses appeared, people began to applaud as they entered the crowd went silent. All were in awe of the horses’ beauty.

The World Famous Lipizzaner Stallions show hall

Rude Tourists

As I sat in my chair watching the show, some rude tourist in the cheap seats behind me kept walked up to the post, pushed me to the side to take a phot. All for a photo of the horses we were supposed to photograph. When she did it a third time, I spoke up.

“Excuse me, no pictures of the horse means, you don’t take photos of the horses.” I put my had in front of her cell phone and blocked the photo. Then the three women, who I didn’t know who sat next to me, softly said, Yes, yeah, Oui, and all smiled at me. They held up their hands too supporting me.

The World Famous Lipizzaner Stallions arena

Smiles and Gratitude

I smiled at them and thanked them for their help. The rude tourist went to another section or just disappeared, but we didn’t see her again. When the show ended, the four women stayed, and we introduced ourselves to each other. Two women from the UK and one from France, all of us were “horse girls.” We all had grown up loving horses, and one still did dressage. They thanked me for blocking the photo and protecting the horses. I thanked them for supporting me.

After the Show

When the show was over, I walked outside to see horse-drawn carriages with vacationing tourists riding and enjoying their holiday in Vienna. By the way, a horse-drawn carriage is a great way to see an elegant view of Vienna. Whether you are with a friend or a solo traveler, carriage rides make Vienna romantic.

carriage horses vienna

Stallions Stables

I continued my hunt for the world famous Lipizzaner Stallions and found the Lipizzaner stable. Watching from just outside the stable, I quaked at their beauty. Eventually, I even asked a local guard showing a dignitary the horses, if I could take a photo of the Dancing Stallions. Unfortunately, she said no. But, I did get one photo of the horses that I liked. Here it is below.

The World Famous Lipizzaner Stallions STABLES

Where The Dancing Stallions Excercise

Back at the Museum cafe, I noticed the exercise paddock. Entering the cafe, though it was cold and crisp outside, I sat in the outdoor seating area. Right in front of me, were my beloved stallions, exercising. I bought a coffee and a finger sandwich, and I watched the horses exercise.

The World Famous Lipizzaner Stallions exercise area

Elegant Lipizzaner Stallions Exit

Eventually, the training was over. Gracefully exiting, the tail of the last Stallion seemed to wave goodbye to me as he exited.

The World Famous Lipizzaner Stallions TRAINIGN AREA

My day was over, as far as I was concerned. Anything and everything else in Vienna was less impressive to me than the Dancing Stallions.

Heading to My Hotel

Next to my hotel was a lovely five-star hotel, so I decided to have a glass of wine in the lobby before going back to my hotel. It’s fun to go to the fanciest hotels for a treat or taste of wine.

Enjoying my wine and Austrian soup and hors-d’oeuvre, I wondered about music as it softly rolled into the lobby. Music is the heart and soul of Austria. Vienna has a lot of street musicians, and music seems to be everywhere in Vienna. I went to Church recitals, organ rehearsals, and even heard the Vienna Boys Choir practicing in a church.

Ending to the Perfect Day

When I entered my hotel, I told the receptionist how perfect my day had been. She said to me, that today was my lucky day, because it was the last outdoor performance of La Boheme, by Giacomo Puccini, at Weiner Staatsoper Live Opera in the Plaza. My perfect day, ended by going to the last outdoor concert of the season in Vienna.

What a Perfect Day and Night!

walk to outdoor opera

Weiner Opera

Buy your tickets here. Never buy tickets from the ticket hawkers outside, cathedrals and concert halls. They sell fake tickets, and the seats are usually behind walls or in obscure places.

Travel Tip: Enjoy Weiner Staatsoper Live Opera in the Plaza on a video wall from April, May, June, and September as well as around New Year’s Eve. Fans enjoy first-class performances free of charge in the open air on Karajan-Platz.

Disney’s movie, Miracle of the White Stallions

Best Vienna Austria Holiday Itinerary

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Kate started traveling for work. Now with grown children, who are travelers, she travels for pleasure looking for great travel experiences. Currently, her home is in Bellevue, WA, and lives with her cat Angelina Jolie. She has a Bachelor's of Fine Arts, Studio Arts and Art History from the University of Colorado, an MBA and Master of Arts, Management. Her favorite things are exploring new cultures, traveling the world, creating a painting and sour or spicy foods.

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