The Holy Blood of Christ was found and divided in the Italian city of Mantua in 804. One third of it was given to the Emperor Henry III and after his death to his vassal Count Balduin of Flanders. His stepdaughter Judith bequeathed the valuable relic shortly before her death to the house monastery Weingarten, founded in 1056. Since then, the world's largest equestrian procession on 3,000 festively decorated and stoked horses has taken place in the Upper Swabian town on every Friday after Ascension Day. Already at 4 o'clock in the morning, the riders dressed in tailcoats and top-hats and up to 30,000 pilgrims from all over Upper Swabia and beyond gather in front of and in "Schwäbisch St. Peter", the largest baroque basilica in Germany. The basilica was built at the beginning of the 18th century to worship the Holy Blood relic, which can be seen in the altar under the dome. After a community mass, the ten-kilometre-long blood ride begins with the handover of the Holy Blood relic at 7 o'clock. The blood rider groups are accompanied by music bands and stop at four field altars to ask for blessings for the people and meadows. Each year, seven blood riders from Mantua take part in the magnificent procession.