Lipica Stud Farm
The Lipica Stud Farm is famous for being one of the oldest stud farms in Europe, and is especially known as the birthplace of the noble horse breed – the Lipizzaner. These horses are famous for their intelligence and diligence. As the locals like to say, they also exhibit a bit of that old karstic stubbornness, which is characteristic of the inhabitants of this rocky landscape. Because of their character, the Lipizzaners are the basis of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna and the pride of riders all around the world.
The lovely fenced estate offers many possibilities for spending the day out in nature. We took the family for a walk along the dusty roads (in the shade provided by the avenue of trees), which connect the pastures where the white Lipizzaners gallop.
There is no shortage of highlights at the Lipica Stud Farm, but the focus here will be on two cultural highlights: the Lipikum Museum and the Gallery of Avgust Černigoj.
The Lipikum Museum is Lipica's interactive centre located in the renovated premises of the former stables. Upon entering the museum, one immediately notices that the museum exhibition and presentation of the Lipizzaners was designed with children in mind. The neatly placed exhibits tell the entire story of the Lipizzaner horse from its birth, when the foals are still black in colour, to the years when they change into their characteristic white colour. The museum is truly interactive as we can enjoy it with all our senses. Children can touch certain exhibits, climb onto a model of an adult Lipizzaner, turn into a rider and experience first-hand, the power of the Karst bora wind. The entire exhibition is designed in an extremely fluid and very educational manner but, at the same time, we as visitors did not get the feeling that it was overly complicated or expert-oriented.
On the other side of the castle courtyard is the entrance to the other cultural attraction of Lipica – the gallery of Avgust Černigoj. The gallery houses more than 400 works of art (the gallery has a collection of more than 1,400 works, but the majority is not part of the permanent exhibition), which attest to more than 60 years of Avgust Černigoj's artistic oeuvre. The graphic artist's lively career path took him from his native Trieste to Bologna, Munich and Weimar, where he worked as the only Slovenian artist in the famous Bauhaus University. Upon his return to Slovenia, he worked as a teacher and professor in Postojna, Ljubljana and Trieste. The final 5 years of his life were spent in Lipica, which is why this is the place of his retrospective exhibition.
The gallery offers an invaluable insight into the author's creative work. Among the exhibited works are many graphics in the form of linocut, chalcography and aquatint. The graphics mostly come in small formats, and the works show that the author is rightly considered as one of the key representative of the Slovenian avant-garde and constructivism. Apart from his atelier, Avgust Černigoj also worked at other locations. Among these is the Church of St. Anna in Bač, which features his paintings.
In 2018, when we celebrate the year of cultural heritage, the gallery of Avgust Černigoj is definitely one of the destinations you have to visit.