Station: [21a] Alley 1 - The shoemaker

To give you an impression of life in an ancient town, this is a reconstruction of a road as it might have looked on the ramparts.

First, please look at the house on the left side of the road:

A shoemaker and his family lived in this house. He is working on a table supported by two timber jacks and which can be easily put to one side or in front of the door, if required.

This type of table construction was typical on account of the relatively cramped living and working areas.

If the weather’s good, the shoemaker works in front of the house because he has better light there than in the hut which has no windows. His working tool is placed in front of him. He has a special knife to cut the leather and a broach to pre-drill the holes in the leather, an iron mandrel and pitch to turn the threads made of flax. There are even wooden shoe lasts to shape the shoes. The shoes are sewn together from the left with the so-called flesh-side. The shoemaker does not use metal needles, but strong neck bristles of wild boar. When the shoes have been sewn, they are turned inside out so that the seams are inside the shoe, protecting them from wear. That’s why these shoes are referred to as turned-over shoes.

The interior of the house is very simple. There is s sleeping bench at the rear and boards hung onto the walls to keep household goods comprising simple wooden cups and plates and clay pots. At least the food is protected here from the pets which include dogs, pigs and chicken.

Work material, clothes and other items of daily use are hung on the walls or thrown over the cross bracings in the inside of the house.

The floor of this braided wall house is also made of pressed clay. As you can see, there is only one room in the house in which the family lives and works. The size of this house is typical for a craftsman’s house.