"We revive the imperial times for one unforgettable night a year, and open the Spanish Riding School for all Viennese people, but also for guests from all over Austria and abroad. On Friday, June 23rd 2017, we will see the past blending with the passion of the present again. Louis-Napoleon III. already knew about the importance of glittering festivities. Our Fête Impériale will be celebrated as imperial, magnificient and colourful summer ball for the 8th time this year."
Chief Executive Officer Elisabeth Gürtler
A summer night dream comes true ...
in an imperial venue: a unique event deserves an exceptional setting
For the eighth time in a row, the Spanish Riding School will present itself as Vienna’s most beautiful summer ball location. On June 23rd, 2017, at the Fête Impériale, 2,500 guests will enjoy a glittering evening under the stars again – where normally only the Lipizzaner stallions dance. They are on holiday in July and August.
Just as in imperial times, carriages will arrive on the Michaelerplatz. The riding area will turn into a dance floor and provides their guests ample
space to perform their Caprioles, Levades, Courbettes and the School Quadrilles. The open galleries of the Winter Riding School invite guests to stroll around, enjoy themselves and above all: to see and be seen – a major part of the fun!
Guests also dance under the stars in the Stallburg or take a walk in the Summer Riding School, where a variety of bars offer champagne and wine.
The most ancient ball room in Vienna
The Spanish Riding School and the unique Viennese ball tradition.
Since 1565, the Spanish Riding School has been the centre of the High School of Classical Horsemanship. However, the world’s most beautiful riding hall, the Winter Riding School, was not only used for horsemanship, it has been the backdrop for many court festivities. Maria Theresia’s “Ladies Carrousels” were held here just like many masquerade balls. Therefore, the Winter Riding School is the oldest still exisiting ball room in Vienna! The Stallburg adjacent to the Spanish Riding School is also considered an architectural gem.
The Renaissance building was already used as an imperial court stable in 1565. Since the Congress of Vienna in the early 19th century, balls have become a fixture in Vienna’s social calendar. Traditionally, balls take place during the carnival season in Austria. But the tradition of summer balls, which already has been held high by empress Maria Theresia, could be revived with the Fête Impériale: So for the seventh time in a row, it will be the summer’s most magnificent event in 2016.
The Spanish Riding School bears the responsibility for very important national treasures: the preservation of the oldest cultural horse breed, the Lipizzaners, and the preservation of the tradition of the High School of Classical Horsemanship. We celebrate an imperial festivity in the long tradition of the Spanish Riding School with you!