Skip to Main Content

San Diego Trolley regularly whizzes past Our Lady of Shoes.
San Diego Trolley regularly whizzes past Our Lady of Shoes.

Our Lady of Shoes

Field review by the editors.

San Diego, California

A Madonna-like figure sits holding a lap full of shoes. She's said to maintain a vigil over the graves of the indigent dead in Mt. Hope Cemetery.

Our Lady of Shoes.

Mt. Hope Cemetery contains thousands of buried paupers, anonymous people put to rest since the 19th century by the city of San Diego, which owns the large multi-racial, non-denominational cemetery. Many of the nameless dead were homeless, or bodies found along the border between the U.S. and Mexico.

"Our Lady of Shoes" (or "Nuestra Sra de Los Zapatos") is a sculpture given as a sister-city gift on April 26, 1999 to then San Diego Mayor Susan Golding, from Mayor Jorge Carlos Obregon of Leon, Mexico (a city long touted as "Shoe Capital of the World"). The statue was installed here in 2009, just a few feet from the San Diego Trolley Line that passes through the property.

The barefoot woman in a robe is seated on a pile of shoes (Soles of the forgotten? Hmm?). She smiles down beatifically, not at the baby Jesus, but at the pair of cowboy boots on the pile of shoes she holds in her lap. Her hair seems to be styled in a sturdy boot tread pattern.

Christians often create devotional gardens around Mary statues, and one of the flowers, the columbine, is also known as "Our Lady's Shoes." So perhaps the shoes are flowers of footwear.

Seated on a stack of soles.

Where's a shoe tree when you need one?

Our Lady of Shoes

Mt. Hope Cemetery

3751 Market St, San Diego, CA
Mt. Hope Cemetery, near the northwest side of the San Diego Trolley line, east of Normans Ave in the cemetery.
Gates open daily 8-4 Local health policies may affect hours and access.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Barrio Logan Art: Under the BridgeBarrio Logan Art: Under the Bridge, San Diego, CA - 2 mi.
Statues of Bum and Greyfriars BobbyStatues of Bum and Greyfriars Bobby, San Diego, CA - 3 mi.
Men Only Until 3:00 PM SignMen Only Until 3:00 PM Sign, San Diego, CA - 3 mi.
In the region:
Torrey Pines Gliderport, La Jolla, CA - 15 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in California

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in California.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Create and Save Your Own Crazy Road Trip! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

California Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Daredevil Graves of Niagara Falls, Niagara Falls, New York (Jun 17-23, 2024)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings