Shoemaker's Pear Tree - Atlas Obscura

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Shoemaker's Pear Tree

Falsterbo, Sweden

Where a troll might repair your shoes in exchange for a bowl of porridge. 


The Swedish village of Falsterbo is known for the Falsterbo Horse Show, golf courses, beaches, and much more. But there is at least one place in the village that is not so “known” among visitors, but very familiar to locals: the Shoemaker’s Pear Tree.

To the visitor, the place appears to consist of a lawn that is used to park cars on, and a collection of pear trees behind a fence, but not all is what it seems. This is a very special place. This is the home of the trolls, or Vättarna in Swedish.

According to the saying from the olden days, the trolls live under the pear trees, in tunnels under the ground. They prefer to dress in gray, they can make themselves invisible when they want to and don’t want to be disturbed. The pear trees were a gift from the residents of Falsterbo to the trolls. By gifting the pear trees to the trolls, they got a home of their own and stopped the trolls from entering people’s houses at night and making a mess. 

The trolls are skilled craftsmen and it is said that if you leave your broken shoes under a pear tree after dark, along with a bowl of porridge, you can return there at sunrise and get your mended shoes.

An old local legend says that if a woman goes to the place barefoot after dark, picks a pear, and eats it on the spot in complete silence, she will dream of her future husband within three days.

The place is by law an ancient monument and it is forbidden to take cuttings or the like from the pear trees, but it is allowed to pick the pears. For those of you who walk in broken shoes, consider a visit!

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September 28, 2023

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