Slovenski etnografski muzej

Sacred Horses - Heavenly Riders
Exhibition building ground floor
20. October 2022
14. January 2024
dr. Marko Frelih
Ministrstvo za kulturo

Partner of the exhibition:
Kobilarna Lipica

Sacred Horses - Heavenly Riders

Take a look at the rich legacy of the mythological and symbolic meanings of horses, unicorns, centaurs, the winged Pegasus, heavenly riders, and more.

The exhibition Sacred Horses – Heavenly Riders represents the rich legacy of the mythological and symbolic meanings of horses and their hybrid versions, among which Pegasus and the unicorn are at the forefront. Along with the original horn of the unicorn, which is on display at the exhibition, the symbolic role of horses is also associated with equestrian equipment, where we can find symbolic elements with a magical, protective power.

Horses and riders are protected by deities, foremost among them by the Greek god Poseidon and the Celtic-Roman goddess Epona, who was once also worshipped in the Slovenian territory, and a type of horse – the pony – is also associated with her name. The exhibition shows Christian saints who are associated with horses, and highlights the Feast of St. Stephen with its famous votive horses. Votive offerings in the form of horses go far back to prehistoric times, hence the display of exceptional examples of ceramic statuettes of horses with riders, which were used for ceremonial purposes almost 2,500 years ago, is particularly interesting. The symbolic meanings of horses and riders in Africa and Asia are also presented with selected art masterpieces. Exhibits from different Slovenian and foreign museums also show masterpieces from various craftsmen and artists, who found their creative inspiration in themes related to horses and riders in the real and mythological worlds.