Museum of Felt shoes
One can touch everything in the museum!
« Valenki » or the ‘felt shoe’ is traditional Russian foot wear whose history can be traced to the 4th century BC.
As felt shoes were expensive in old Russia only the prosperous could afford them. Thus Valenki were passed from generation to generation and inheriting the Valenki was considered good luck. A man who wore the Valenki among the girls was considered good marriage material.
Production techniques were kept secret so the number of artisans practicing was very limited.
People kept their Valenki by the oven, which was considered an “honorable” storage place. If a girl threw a single “valenok” in her boyfriend’s garden it meant she agreed to marriage.
Even the Tsars thought highly of the Valenki. Peter the Great wore his Valenki after a good feast to help get rid of the “consequences”