As I walked around Ljubljana I noticed (what to me) was an unusual sight of shoes dangled across overhead cables and wires. I had never seen anything like it before and was curious to find out why they had been placed in that way. My searches have not revealed how or when this behavior started but according to local folklore…
In Ljubljana, there are many streets with shoes on a wire. The origins were explained in another Ljubljana spot where shoes were hung up over the Cobblers’ bridge in the city centre. But lately each and every one of them was removed by the municipality, even though they were popular tourist attraction. On Trubarjeva cesta, exactly the same street where the Dežnik shop is as well (check the Dežnik article), there are several wires spanned across the street where hanging shoes remain present. The origins of the latter were unknown to me until recently.
I visited a shoe-maker, who lives next to the Umbrella-maker in this street. Her story behind the hanging shoes was fun to get to know. She explained that the first pair of shoes were hung by herself and instantly her shop became regularly visited. The second pair were hung by a lawyer and the next day he got his first job. The third one by a ballet dancer, and the rest followed. The custom spread fast and nowadays nobody knows anymore whether they appear due to life changing situations of their late wearers or because of any other state of mind. I think the shoe-maker may be hiding some details, we ought to know.
Recently the “shoe-hanging” custom became quite a hit as pairs multiply from day to day. As for me, I once hung a pair of my worn out shoes and left barefoot. For the time being nothing has changed yet, but one ever knows.