If you are a die-hard, relentless romantic, then it is quite possible you know about Padlock Bridges. The most famous is the one in Paris.
You have a lovelock with your name inscribed, and you lock it. Then, the couple usually throws the key into the river or water bodies. This idea symbolizes the unbreakable bond of that couple forever. Well, if this isn’t romantic, what is?
Not much comes close to locking each other in love forever. It is also one of the most visited places in Paris. You can go to different places for a trip to find similar ones. These places include a site in Serbia, Germany, Amsterdam, Slovenia, and many more.
This might seem sad, but some have stopped allowing people to wear these lovelocks. This occurred as the weight of these love locks weakened the Bridge, which could end in a destructive disaster.
Padlock bridges, such as the Pont des Artes in Paris, were not well-known before 2015, with the practice starting around 2008. The bridge began experiencing problems due to the weight of the locks by 2012, and by 2015, the bridge had more than 700,000 locks, which contributed to its weakening.
The government took measures to remove love locks from bridges due to concerns about safety and damage to heritage sites, and campaigns have been launched to discourage the practice. However, there is no specific evidence provided that confirms the practice has been made illegal.
Below, we get to know everything there to tell about Padlock Bridge.
1. History of Padlock Bridge
The origins of the love lock tradition are not definitively known, with various stories and legends suggesting different beginnings. While one company, Lovelocks, Inc., claims the practice originated in ancient China, this is not widely substantiated.
The contemporary practice of affixing love padlocks to public fixtures as a symbol of everlasting love became popular in Europe in the early 2000s and is associated with various origins, including Serbian legend and Italian novels; the practice is not specifically tied to marriage.
This lovelock tradition was adopted slowly but then revived in a Serbian town. This town is called Vrnjačka Banja. There was a couple, two lovers, a man called Relja and a woman named Nada. They were both in love. Relja called Nada the love of his life.
During that time, the area was in the 1st world War, and Relja was forced to be a part of the world war. He and Nada were engaged to be married, and she believed in her love and trusted that Relja would be back home safely to get married.
But sadly, it never happened. According to the old reports, he returned from the war, but the lover deserted her and went on with another woman. Many believed this made Nada’s life miserable, and the woman died heartbreakingly.
This heartbreak became the story heard in the entire town, making young local women worry about having the same fate. To keep their lover with them forever, the young woman would visit the site where the two lovers once met and lock their love locks, keeping their true love locked in forever and throwing away the keys.
Whether this was effective or not in keeping the lovers together is unknown. One thing is sure. It became a tradition. This eventually spread across the world like wildfire.
The popularity of this ritual surged because of the 2006- best-selling Italian Novel, which was turned into a movie, Ho Voglia Des Te(I Want You) by Federico Moccia. In the Novel, the couple locks a love Padlock on Rome’s Ponte Milvio Bridge to announce that love is imperishable.
2. Five Best-Known Bridges in the World
2.1. Butcher’s Bridge, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Well, the name isn’t enticing or romantic and affectionate. But trust me when I say this is a footbridge adorned with love locks. Butcher’s overpass was created and opened in 2010 over the Ljubljanica River. This is a go-to romantic destination in Slovenia’s capital city.
It is a functional footbridge by Jakov Brdar featuring glass walking belts and sculptures. It has become a spot where couples attach love locks, similar to the love lock bridge concept in other cities.
There are steel railings on this one where the couple etches their name on the lock, hangs them, and throws the key into the river.
The Butcher’s Bridge has some weird, scary statues and sculptures of deformed beasts and creatures, shameful Eve and Adam, and an eviscerated Prometheus. These statues have given the Love Lock Bridge a gory vibe, but the lovable love locks provide fresh air to this structure.
2.2. Most Ljubavi, Vrnjačka Banja, Serbia
This is the historic Bridge where the beginning of padlock bridges happened over 100 years ago. This was where Relja and Nada met and where the woman died. It is still relevant and used to hang love padlocks to this day.
As mentioned above, Nada died of heartbreak, and this one has become adorned with padlocks as a sign of her lost love and her lost lover. The locks are inscribed with various names of guests from around the world and local women and their partners and lovers.
To this date, the fear of losing lovers or partners is relevant, making women pray and hang the lock for their love to be endless and forever, even today.
2.3. Pont Des Arts, Paris
This is one of the most famous love lock bridges. It was made many years ago to connect the city in the Institut de France with the central square of the Louvre Palace. This was not always a padlock bridge.
It was initially designed to resemble a garden hanging over the river Seine but later turned into a tourist attraction due to the lock-hanging tradition. It is located in the historic centre of Paris.
This tradition became popular in Paris after the release of Federico Moccia’s novel ‘Ho Voglia di Te’ in 2006 and its movie adaptation in 2007, where a couple attaches a padlock to Rome’s Milvio Bridge.
While the tradition did become well-known, it has faced opposition due to the damage it causes to bridges and other infrastructure.
This became a significant scenery in the area as you see many love locks fastened on the grate and fence over here. In 2014, some of the grates that carried the love lock collapsed.
2.4. Hohenzollern Bridge, Cologne, Germany
This padlock bridge is also called Hohenzollernbrücke Bridge. The city is known for its Bridge and for being where Eau de Cologne was invented. It is also one such loved by people. It is on the Rhine.
The overpass is adorned with numerous love locks on its fence that are increasing daily.
The locks first began to be seen on this overpass in 2008. since then, this place has been crowded with padlocks hung by tourists from around the world and local people.
The overpass is 410m long, likely with more than a hundred thousand padlocks on it.
It is a colourful and beautiful padlock bridge with locks of various colours coming together to make an incredible masterpiece. This overpass weighs over 2 tons, and the collection of waves is still growing.
2.5. Makartsteg Bridge, Salzburg
This padlock bridge is famous among local and international couples. It is so renowned that it’s called ‘Love Locks Bridge’ as there are hundreds and thousands of locks by young and old couples. It is also on the river Salzach and was built in 2001. It is named after the famous Austrian painter Hans Makart.
The structure has an immaculate and romantic background with a panoramic scene that includes a cathedral and a fortress. The overpass is just a few blocks from Famous Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s old Home.
There is a jewellery store called Heart of Mozart that sells love locks. These locks are called to interest the tourists who aren’t in love but would hang a lock for luck. These are also called ‘Luck locks’.
3. Are Padlock Bridges a Truth or a Myth?
The padlock bridge signifies forever enduring love and sometimes symbolizes luck. There are many more that accommodate love locks in the world.
All of them are covered in locks, proving that there is still hope of steadfast love in people. The people who hang a love lock with a partner hope to have a loving life with their partner, while those who turn a lock alone hope to find love that makes their life more lovable.
Some of the popular locations in various sites of major cities, for example, are the Brooklyn Bridge in NYC, USA, Wye Bridge in the United Kingdom, Luzhkov overpass in Moscow, Russia, Ponte Milvio bridge in Rome, Magere Burg in Amsterdam, and many more around the world.
All the viaducts have millions of padlock bridges hanging on them. While these locks are a sign of love, they are caused to weigh down the overpass, making the structure weak for people to walk on. This makes the overpass dangerous, and a mishap is just a step away.
4. Wrapping Up the Journey
Many laws have made it illegal to hang locks on some bridges. There has been awareness in Facebook groups by spreading about the disaster a weak one can cause. A Facebook group is also trying to save bridges and love locks.
But these things can’t hide the fact that these bridges symbolize unbreakable love, romance, and everlasting affection for many, and everyone should visit these beautiful places.
5. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q.1. What do padlocks on bridges represent?
Locking padlocks on a bridge means locking your love forever as an everlasting Love.
Q.2. Can you still put Locks on the overpass?
While some love lock bridges, like Pont de Arts in Paris, don’t allow hanging love lock on, most love lock bridges still function and allow turning it.
Q.3. Where is the famous padlock bridge with love locks in the world?
The padlock bridge in Paris, Pont de Arts, has the highest number of love locks. They allow for hanging personalized locks on the railings and throwing the keys into the river.
Q.4. Which is the best love lock bridge to Propose?
The overpass in Love’s City, Paris, is the best padlock bridge to propose. You can also go for the Magere Brug in Amsterdam, a Lovelock bridge. This popular location looks the best at night.
Q.5. What do you write on a love lock?
You can write anything. You can put on a love lock for yourself, your partner, or your parents. You can engrave quotes that mean a lot to your partner, lovers, or dates that are important.