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300-year-old shoes found in castle wall during restoration

Published: 13 Apr 2010 08:40 GMT+02:00

Eight women’s, men’s and children’s shoes were uncovered within the wall during restorations at the Liedberg Palace in Korschenbroich, a spokesperson for the Neuss district authority said.

Scholars working for the authority believe that the shoes were immured 12 metres high in the wall around 1708, she said.

While most of the shoes were heavily worn, they were high-value Baroque models that probably belonged to the family of the castle lord.

Two other pairs of shoes from the 19th century were also found in the wall.

According to the spokesperson, the find is not uncommon. Scholars frequently find shoes in walls during monument restoration – but there is no official explanation for their presence.

Some clues point to a superstitious, symbolic ritual meant to ward off bad luck for the building’s residents or builders.

Neuss authorities said the shoes will be cleaned, examined, documented and later placed back inside the palace wall.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

16:17 April 13, 2010 by berlinski
They just don't make them like that anymore.
19:27 April 13, 2010 by dbert4
Back then, they weren't coming from China......
06:25 April 14, 2010 by vonSchwerin
They're going to put the shoes back in the wall? Is there a glut of 300-year-old domestic artifacts and and material culture objects in Germany's museums? Germany must have too many antiquities if restorers can just take valuable finds and cement them back into walls!
21:56 April 14, 2010 by cocovelvet
Yep, vonSchwein !! ...... or else they must be verdammt angsthasen ( cowards) to just want to plaster back those shoes into the walls coz they're probably verdammt afraid of the bad luck which might strike them for taking them out of those walls !!??...... theeheee !!!
02:16 April 15, 2010 by ya-ha
It might have been an intimate family act or symol of a promice. Its is nice that they choose to respect what ever was the intent of those who placed them. May they stay there for ever
19:48 April 15, 2010 by snorge
Don't forget to put in some Dr. Scholl's® shoe inserts before you wall them up. That way our great grand kids won't have to put up with the smell....
14:01 April 16, 2010 by davidmichelmore
The purpose of hiding the shoes is to keep away witches. They are often hidden in or near chimneys, because witches were thought to come down chimneys, and are often children's shoes, as seems to be the case with the shoe in the photograph. I have found many "witches shoes" when working on old houses in England.
02:43 April 17, 2010 by lilsmokie
i remodeled my kitchen in my previous house about 20 years ago. while the kitchen was still dismantled, including walls, i came down one night about 2 in the morning and for some reason went straight to an open wall and found a40 year old liquor bottle . when i did seal the wall back up, i put in a empty jack daniels bottle next to it. i live in u.s. but was born in germany. apparently one of the homes builders left it there
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