Growing Trend Makes Use of Locks as Symbols of Lasting Love
Placing symbolic “love locks” on bridges is a popular tourist activity in Paris and beyond
For most of us, locks, especially padlocks, are practical objects used for securing fences, trunks, toolboxes, sheds, and other outbuildings. Your average padlock hardly seems a fit symbol for everlasting love—unless, of course, it’s attached to one of the famous “love lock” bridges. In this context, even the most generic and utilitarian padlock can seem pretty darn romantic as you click the hasp shut and throw the key into the water below to mark an engagement, anniversary, or other special day.
The Original Love Lock Bridge
No one really knows exactly when it all started, but for years couples have been attaching padlocks inscribed with their names or initials to the railings of the Pont des Arts in Paris. At first the couples came surreptitiously and sporadically, a lock appearing here or there overnight while the city slept. Soon, placing a love lock on a bridge became a must-do activity for tourists visiting the city of love, and today thousands of padlocks burden the railings of the Pont des Arts and the Pont de l’Archeveche in Paris, causing real concerns about safety and aesthetics for officials.
Love Locks Around the World
As the popularity of love locks grew, so did the number of bridges where lovers might place their symbol of everlasting love. Today love lock bridges can be found in cities around the world, from China to Canada and beyond. Some bridges, like the Bryggebroen in Copehagen, sport an orderly single row of locks, while other bridges bristle with so many locks they can’t even hang flat. In some countries such as the Czech Republic where the phenomenon is just taking off, officials welcome the trend as a boost to tourism. Other countries like France and Italy view the locks as a threat to their historic treasures and routinely cut off and discard thousands of locks, though this practice does nothing to discourage new locks from appearing.
Choosing Your Love Lock
If you like the idea of leaving a token of your love in one of the most romantic cities in the world, you need to pick your lock carefully. Obviously you want it to look attractive, but considering the risk that it may be cut off and discarded, you may not want to spend too much on it. At RBM Lock & Key, we have a wide selection of padlocks in various sizes and finishes. We even have theft-resistant padlocks that can’t be cut off with your average bolt cutter if you really want to improve the chances of your love lock standing the test of time.