We took a long walk yesterday to get to dinner with our whole group. On the way we passed several of the love lock bridges where thousands, if not more, of couples have left symbols of their love over the years.
The history of it goes back about a hundred years to Serbia during WWI, where a young couple fell in love and would meet at a bridge in their town. Apparently the man went to war in Greece (weird connection, yet again to my travels!) and fell in love with someone else, and the girl died from heartbreak so other lovers started the tradition of putting a padlock on the spot where the couple used to meet to eternalize their love, to spare themselves the fate that she suffered. It’s grandoise, yes, but oh so romantic.
The trend originated in Paris on the Pont des Arts and the Pont de l’Archevêché, but now they’re on almost every bridge that goes over the Seine. The lovers used to throw the key into the river, but the city now has signs up to prevent that because of the effect it has on the water. There’s also this No Love Locks campaign that was started by two Americans living in Paris, a petition to save the bridges because several are in jeopardy due to the weight of the locks. There’s an estimated 700,000 locks! That’s a lot of love!
The No Love Locks campaign has called it “madness.” Some say it’s a public detriment. As I was walking along the bridge, I was more in awe of how much love this city really holds than worried about the supposed “vandalism.” My opinion is that it’s beautiful…more than 700,000 couples came to Paris, the city of love, and left a piece of their romance there forever. I think it’s sweet, although I can see the detriment if the locks become so heavy that a bridge falls or breaks. But in that case…as it seems to be…couples find other places to leave their locks. My roommate left one on the top of the Eiffel Tower a few days ago for her boyfriend. It doesn’t get more romantic than that!
It seems unrealistic to me to remove all of the locks, and a bit insensitive to the emotions of the 700,000+ couples who left symbols of their love there. Whether they break up or stay together, I think it’s incredibly romantic that…they’ll always have Paris. ❤