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Colorful tiles on the roof of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna

Vienna Media News 12/2015 Spanish Riding School on UNESCO’s world heritage list of immaterial cultural heritage of humanity

In the framework of the 10th conference of the Intergovernmental Committee of the UNESCO agreement to preserve the immaterial cultural heritage of humanity the classical art of riding and the High School of Horsemanship of the Spanish Riding School were admitted to the UNESCO world heritage list of immaterial cultural heritage of humanity. For the list of immaterial cultural heritage of humanity this year, 34 artistic forms, traditions and customs were nominated. After an intensive evaluation process, the Intergovernmental Committee took the decision to admit the Classical Art of Riding of the Spanish Riding School. The Intergovernmental Committee comprises 24 elected representatives of the signatories.

The Spanish Riding School in Vienna is the oldest Riding School worldwide, which has been practising and maintaining the Classical Art of Riding in the Renaissance tradition of the High School for 450 years. The knowledge of the Classical Art of Riding is being transmitted orally from one generation of riders to the next and is being presented to the public in national and international riding performances. For hundreds of years, they have been cultivating an art of riding with a horse especially bred for that purpose – the Lipizzaner - an art of riding, which had already been in its heyday in the antique of the ancient Greek.

The UNESCO list already comprises over 300 traditions from all world religions – among others the Peking opera, the Spanish Flamenco, the Mongolian Naadam Festival, the Iranian tradition of carpet making, the Colombian Marimba music and the Chinese acupuncture, now also comprises three Austrian traditions. Besides the Art of Riding of the Spanish Riding School, two other Austrian traditions were already admitted in 2012: the Imster Schemenlaufen and the falconry.

The Vienna Tourist Board's online campaign MYPERFECTDAY invited assistant rider Hannah Zeitlhofer to share her private Vienna tipps - and give a look behind the scenes of the Spanish Riding School:

Spanish Riding School

Michaelerplatz 1, 1010 Vienna

UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritag in Austria:


Vienna Tourist Board
Helena Hartlauer
Media Relations UK, USA, Canada, Australia
Tel. (+ 43 1) 211 14-364

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