Last night we went on an evening walk through the old town. I kept seeing these strange things sticking out of the walls:
Under closer inspection, it turns out to have been designed to scrape the mud off your boots - you know, before the roads were paved and you'd get to someone's door with mud all over your shoes.
Perhaps a sort of early version of the doormat...Here, a few more examples:
...quite the local oddity, indeed!