When I was in Paris, I saw a number of bridges that had these padlocks on them. I’d heard a little bit about it before I left. That these were ‘love locks’ and also read that a couple of American ex-pats were against the new tradition. But, what they failed to explain was how cool they look. And what a neat thing it is. Almost every touristy rip-off store has padlocks for sale and will loan you a marker (sharpie type) to write on it, but only after you buy the lock.
I didn’t know until I returned to the States that the French authorities took down most of the padlocks on the Pont des Arts because the bridge was collapsing. Good to know AFTER I had walked across it. There weren’t any signs or anything!
Here are a couple of pics of the Pont Neuf love locks. Followed by the ones on the Pont de L’Archeveche. And one that I put on there. Hey, when in Rome, or er, France, right? I had to, it was just too tempting!
And there was a couple having their wedding pictures taken in front of the locks. In my writerly mind, I thought, maybe he or she had put a lock on there and this wedding was the result of that wish.
I also wanted to know where this idea of love locks even came from, so I wikipedia’d it, of course. Don’t we all learn everything from that site? Well, here is their proclamation of the basis of the love locks:
The history of love padlocks dates back at least 100 years to a melancholic Serbian tale of World War I, with an attribution for the bridge Most Ljubavi (lit. the Bridge of Love) in spa town of Vrnjačka Banja. A local schoolmistress named Nada, who was from Vrnjačka Banja, fell in love with a Serbian officer named Relja. After they committed to each other Relja went to war in Greece where he fell in love with a local woman from Corfu. As a consequence, Relja and Nada broke off their engagement. Nada never recovered from that devastating blow, and after some time she died due to heartbreak from her unfortunate love. As young women from Vrnjačka Banja wanted to protect their own loves, they started writing down their names, with the names of their loved ones, on padlocks and affixing them to the railings of the bridge where Nada and Relja used to meet.