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Monument to a shoemaker in Vitebsk

Monument to a shoemaker in Vitebsk
Monument to a shoemaker in Vitebsk

Belarus is famous for its shoemakers – it is not for nothing that there are quite a few shoe factories in the republic. Therefore, it is by no means surprising that a bronze shoemaker appeared on a quiet Lev Tolstoy street in the center of Vitebsk. The monument was made at the initiative and financial support of the “Marko” company and its director Nikolai Martynov. It was installed at the end of May 2011.

Vitebsk city
Vitebsk city

Nevertheless, the “shoemaker” is by no means a Vitebsk and not even a Belarusian.

Its prototype (according to Martynov’s idea) was San Crispino, the patron saint of all shoemakers and tanners. Sometime in ancient times, Crispino settled in Gaul (on the territory of today’s France). There he took up sewing shoes, and part-time preached the teachings of Christ. In those years, people did not like such things. The hard fate did not pass, and Crispino – in 286, according to the tradition of that time, they dealt with him and his brother with special cruelty – they were cooked in molten tin. What can you do – an enlightened Europe … When Christianity won and the persecuted became persecutors, Crispino was canonized.

Birds at the entrance to the city of Vitebsk
Birds at the entrance to the city of Vitebsk

Although the shoemaker San Crispino is not local, he is loved by the townspeople and especially the tourists. Many believe that he brings good luck – for this you need to put money in his bank or at least touch him.

In Italy, for example, there is the 4-star Residenza d’epoca San Crispino in the heart of Assisi, Il Gelato di San Crispino in Rome. Italian shoemakers still use the San Crispino sole fixing method (also used by the Russian Ralf Ringer) and produce wine in his honor.

Hotel Residenza d'epoca San Crispino in Assisi
Hotel Residenza d’epoca San Crispino in Assisi
Shoe making according to the San Crispino method
Shoe making according to the San Crispino method
Il Gelato di San Crispino cafe in Rome shoemaker
Il Gelato di San Crispino cafe in Rome

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