The very special heritage of the Lipica Stud Farm and its Lipizzan horses is highly appreciated around the world.
The Stud Farm ‘s beginnings date back to the times the Habsburgs ruled over a large part of Europe and when horses were seen as a key strategic asset. The Habsburgs valued Spanish horses the most. They decided to establish their court stud farm in an abandoned summer mansion in Lipica in the Karst, located in the then monarchy, because the landscape most resembled Spain in terms of the soil and climate. The stud farm was officially established in 1580 and the first breeding horses were soon brought to Lipica from Spain. For over 400 years since then, the stud farm has continuously bred these magnificent white horses, named Lipizzan horses after the village of Lipica. The stud farm has gone through many turbulent times. The herds of horses were forced to flee when foreign armies invaded the area, the estate was ravaged many times during wars, and once the stud farm was hit hard by an earthquake. Despite all these great challenges, the stud farm survived and is today an invaluable original stud farm of the unique horse breed – Lipizzan horses are the epitome of elegance and it is difficult to imagine any elite riding school without them.
The Lipica Stud Farm, its breeding of Lipizzan horses and the entire Equestrian park are a phenomenon of world proportions. Lipica is not only the original stud farm of the Lipizzan horses, but it is also the oldest European stud farm to be continuously breeding the same horse breed. The whole Equestrian Park area is a unique place. Its spatial planning, the nucleus of buildings and the cultural landscape have all been shaped over the centuries to reflect the original activity, i.e. the breeding of Lipizzan horses. A true gem is the wonderfully cultivated karst landscape with lush meadows and grasslands, protective fences, oak groves and avenues of trees.
The most unforgettable moment at Lipica is making contact with a Lipizzan horse. With its herd of more than 300 horses, the Lipica Stud Farm is the biggest stud farm with Lipizzan horses on earth. Visitors to the stud farm can get close and touch these amazing creatures, ride them or take a ride across the estate in a horse-driven carriage. The magnificence of these horses is well described in A Tale of Lipica, an attractive show put on by the Lipica classical riding school.
The Equestrian Park Lipica offers a comprehensive experience of the Karst’s natural and cultural heritage. The many natural sights beckon you to explore them and, in the park and its surroundings, there are several walking, running, hiking and cycle trails as well as the famous golf course. No doubt, any of the following in Lipica makes for a special experience: Lipikum – interactive museum of the Lipizzan horse, the Museum of Horse Carriages and the Avgust Černigoj Gallery – exhibiting works of art by the famous painter who lived and created in Lipica near the end of his life.