Lipica- long shadows
Lipica is a village in the Municipality of Sežana in the Littoral region of Slovenia, close to the border with Italy.
Lipica is one of the main tourist centers of the Slovenia's Karst region. It is the origin of the Lipizzaner horses. The Lipica stud farm was established in 1580 by Charles II, Archduke of Inner Austria (son of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor). Today the stud farm is fully functional and breeds the finest horses for haute-école riding. The stud farm now also includes a hotel and leisure complex, a modern adjunct to a historical setting.
The name is derived from the Slovenian word lipa 'linden tree', which is common in the area. The staff at the Lipica stud farm plant a new linden tree for every foal born, with the local epithet 'Lipa, Lipica, Lipizzana'.
History of the Lipica Stud Farm
The history of Lipica is closely connected with the history of the Habsburg monarchy. At the time when Archduke Charles was thinking about establishing a new stud farm, the Spanish horse was considered the ideal horse breed. Since the soil and climate in the Kras region is similar to that of Spain, Lipica was chosen as the perfect spot for the new farm.
The first horses were bought in 1581 from Spain (24 broodmares and 6 stallions). The Lipizzaner breed as we know today was fully developed in the time of Maria Theresa of Austria, whose husband was greatly interested in horse-breeding.
From the 14th century up to 1947, Lipica was part of the municipality of Trieste. In 1947, it was annexed to Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and included into the Socialist Republic of Slovenia. At that time, the farm had only 11 horses; all others were confiscated by the Germans during World War II.
In the 1960s, Lipica was opened to tourists and new development began. In 1996, Lipica became a public institution that is owned by the Republic of Slovenia and has made significant progress since then. Queen Elizabeth II visited Lipica and its stud farm on 22 October 2008 and was presented with a Lipizzaner horse as a gift from the Slovenian people.