St Mark – the Shoemakers Patron. How St Mark became the patron saint of Shoemakers, is an interesting tale! The former building of the School of Shoemakers or Scuola dei Calegheri (non-German), dates from 1446 and it is to be found in the Campo St Toma; in the San Polo district. The bas-relief above the entrance door, sculpted by Pietro Lombardo; shows St Mark healing the shoemaker, Anianus.
After preaching the Gospel in Italy, St Mark moved to Alexandria in Egypt, where he founded the Orthodox Christian Church (the Church of the Roman Empire of the East and of Greece (that part under their control); ultimately becoming its pope. In 42 A.D., St Mark miraculously cured the cobbler Anianus, who had sustained a dreadful accident whilst working. Unfortunately, because of his success in converting so many people to his faith; he was martyred in 67 A.D. His body was later daringly snatched from a chapel in the town of Bucoles, near Alexandria and brought back to Venice.
The former premises of the German School of Shoemakers (Sculoa dei Calegheri Tedeschi), is to be found near to the Campo Santa Stefano (house no. 3127 a), in the San Marco district. On the facade a few metres up, is a bas-relief of a shoe, which marked the premises of the Confraternity of German Shoemakers, which dates from 1482. The fraternity was actually founded earlier in 1383 and was housed in a building close to the church of Santa Maria della Carita (which today forms part of the Accademia Museum complex.
The Question: what would a “Modern School of Italian Shoemakers”, produce today in Venice?
The Answer: to go with your 4G phone – get a pair of 4G shoes (go-girl-get-gucci)!
————St Mark – The Patron Saint of Shoemakers————
If you are interested in architectural decoration, see my other blog: Pateras – small circular reliefs found on civic and religious buildings,