Riding School Living Horse Museum Hollandsche Manege
The Hollandsche Manage and the Living Horse Museum in Amsterdam is a well-kept secret and a must-see for horse lovers. The Hollandsche Manege is the oldest riding school in the Netherlands and offers horseback riding lessons for all ages, from beginners to advanced, and if you wish to do so, riding side saddle. The present management have a special liking for Ireland. No wonder that most of their fifty horses are Irish-bred. The Living Horse Museum tells the story of the World of Horses within a historical context.
The Living Horse Museum: World of the Horse
The Living Horse Museum highlights topics like horse husbandry, classical equestrian art and the history of the Hollandsche Manage, the Amsterdam city riding school. The museum collection comprises objects that have been collected over time like historical riding accessories, historical photographs, prints and other archival materials as well as object relating to the world of the horse, classical riding and horse husbandry.
Be sure to have your visit to the Hollandsche Manage coincide with attending a performance of the Vondel Carousel. Reminiscent of the Spanish Riding School shows in Vienna, the Vondel Carousel is a show not to be missed. Classical music accompanies eight horses, mounted by four men and four women, who dance to the music. One movement blends into the next: walk, trot, canter and trot in place. Choreographed movements, perfectly graceful: horse and rider are an entity. For those who dare: after the show, visitors can experience riding side saddle for themselves.
When: every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month starting at 13.30 in the afternoon.
Duration: 30 minutes
Hollandsche Manege: a Brief History
The Hollandsche Manege in Amsterdam is the oldest riding school in the Netherlands and dates back to the eighteenth century. The current building was inspired by Winter Riding School (Winterreitschule) of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna and constructed in 1882.
The interior is more like a theatre than an ordinary riding hall with balconies, stands and an indoor sand arena. The purpose was seeing and being seen: a theatre in which both people and horses are the actors. Today, visitors can sit on the balcony in the foyer and observe riders in the main riding hall, and in a smaller one.
A riding school and stables in the middle of a residential area
It is quite unusual to have stables in the middle of a city, yet the Hollandsche Manege is in a residential area of Amsterdam, between Vondelstraat and Overtoom. At the end of the nineteenth century villas for the upper middle-class were being built in this part of Amsterdam. Many residents owned horses and carriage and were used to go on trips or rode their own horses in nearby Vondel Park. The Hollandsche Manege offered them stables for their horses and carriages at the edge of the park.
The entrance gate, marked ‘Manege’ at Vondelstraat gives access to De Hollandsche Manege. The museum and the Hollandsche Manege are open to visitors every day from 11.00-17.00, closed on Mondays.
Address: Levend Paarden museum & De Hollandsche Manege, Vondelstraat 140, Amsterdam