Historical background

The former national stud farm of Strasbourg, which was built in the 18th century, is an outstanding piece of architecture, the front of the building, the roof, the monumental gate, as well as the main stable, are all classified as historical monuments. 

The building became the headquarters of the city’s horse riding academy in 1752, and in 1756 it became the home of the Royal Stud Farm under the authority of Marquis d’Argenson, who was head of the kingdom’s stud farms.

The main stable which is located at the northern end of the courtyard was built when the royal stud farm program was put together. It appears as a genuine horse stable in the spirit of tradition.

The Origins

Created in 1621, the city’s Equestrian Academy was originally a horse-riding training center for young, wealthy French and German people studying at the University of Strasbourg. In this respect, courses are bilingual and the riding school is open throughout school days.

In 1753, the Marquis d’Argenson decided to invest in the Equestrian Academy freshly created on Rue Ste Elisabeth and to establish the Royal Stud Farm.

The school disappeared at the French Revolution. Only under Napoleon I did the school make a come back in 1823. The riding school came back to life once again between 1830 and 1845 under the impulse of Nicolas Thomann. However, it closed again later on, and for good this time.

The Architecture

The current compound has undergone several architectural transformations which are clearly visible nowadays.

In 1752, the first edifications of Strasbourg’s National Stud Farm came to life, including the main indoor riding school, the former stable and the outbuildings, all created by architect Jacques Gallay.

In 1756, subsequent developments allowed the edification of the prestigious royal stable built of pink sandstone closing off the courtyard northbound, looking out onto the main front and adorned with six tall semi-circular arches. This “hotel for horses” would accommodate 32 studs.

In 1758, a forging plant and its woodshed, a nursery and a storage area were all set up into a perfectly regular small building originally made up of two pavilions which harbored a covered shed. Its 4-paned roof had a very low slope.

In 1784, the former 4-paned roof was turned into a steep single slope roof making way for the installation of rooms for stable boys. The forging plant was simultaneously transferred to a small independent building.

Historically Classified

According to the decree of January 6, 1922, the great stable along with its main entrance were entirely classified as historical monuments.

According to the decree of September 22, 1987, the wooden banistered staircase located in the main building, the fronts and roofs of the entire buildings (excepts those of the two buildings bordering the Rue des Glacières and of the small South-Eastern wing of the main courtyard) were classified as historical monuments.

source - Les Haras Strasbourg