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Lock your love in Paris

Written by 23 May 2011 5 Comments

Every time I’m in Paris I seem to find myself on Pont des Arts (the bridge linking the Left bank to the Louvre museum) for one reason – I’m a horrible romantic!
For the past few years the bridge has been a sort of living museum to love from around the world. Lovers engrave their names on a padlock, attach it to the railings on the bridge, kiss then throw the key into the river Seine below illustrating their eternal love for one-another.

There is a bit of debate over where this strange romantic custom comes from, however most people seem to agree that it’s inspired by a book (Federico Moccia’s novel “I Want You”) as two of the main characters attached an inscribed padlock on Ponte Milvio, Rome, and then threw the key in the river Tiber.

Yet despite the bridge being a bit of an unofficial tourist attraction many Parisian officials consider the padlocks to be an eyesore and large numbers mysteriously disappear on a regular basis in order to clean up the bridge.

So what do you think; is it a beautiful romantic gesture or a vomit-inducing public display of affection?
lorna stokes This post was written by Lorna Stokes, part of the travelettes team from 2009 to 2013. Originally from the UK but currently based in Brussels after stints in Canada, Peru, Italy and a job for the French military, she’s always had an unquenchable thirst for exploring new places! She’s still travelling the world with her family so catch up with her adventures on Instagram & Twitter.
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  • nina said:

    I saw this phenomenon in Cologne, too. As far as I’m concerned it’s tolerated there. There is even salesmen on the bridge who engrave it for you right there. In the beginning I found it very neat, but after it became a real tourist business and it seems to appear in different cities, I don’t know what to think of it anymore…

  • Kirsten Alana said:

    I saw this with my own eyes and have also heard of it being done in other countries. I tend towards beautiful and sweet romantic gesture. Though – it did make me feel a bit more lonely in a way when I was standing, alone, on the Pont des Arts bridge.

  • Sonja said:

    I live in Cologne and as Nina pointed out, this “romantic-padlock-phenomenon” can be found there, too. The idea is kind of cute, but in Cologne it is a bit too much in my opinion.

  • Hyman said:

    I do agree with all of the ideas you’ve introduced for your post. They are really convincing and will definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are very brief for newbies. Could you please lengthen them a little from next time? Thank you for the post.

  • Michelle L. said:

    I saw this too when I was in the Umeda Sky Building in Japan. You can engrave your names onto a padlock for about 1,000Yen and go up to the rooftop where you’ll find a wire fence to lock your love to. You are not encouraged to throw your key off the bridge though, which is why no keys are given when your padlock is made.

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