It the past, in order to show someone special how much you love him/her, you would write love letters or sing serenades under the window. Today, lovers are showing their love by locking it with padlock on the failing of bridges across the world.
According to the most sources, this modern version of showing love and affection began in the 80s in the Hungarian town of Pecs, where students who were in love locked padlocks on the bridges, in order to show their solidarity, because their relationships were often threatened by difficult courses they attended. This ritual of „locking souls of couples in love“, according to some stories, existed back in the ancient China. This has been proven by many padlocks locked in temples, the sacred mountains and even on metal chains tied to the Great Wall of China.
Padlock by padlock, this trend of locking love and throwing the key in the river has spread all over the world. Many famous bridges across the world are full of this modern love symbols. Among the world’s most famous bridges of love padlocks is the one in the most romantic city in the world – Paris. Bridge Pont des Arts was the first in the series of bridges over the river Seine decorated with padlocks inscribed with initials of couples in love.
Principle of locking the love padlocks is simple – couples write their initials or a love note on the padlock, which then they lock to the railing of the bridge and throw the key into the river, so that their love would be safe forever, but also to ensure that no one else will “unlock” their hearts. This modern ritual of love is adequately described by the famous phrase printed in millions scrapbooks: “I locked you in my heart, you can not get out. I lost the key and I can’t find it. “
But, as in everything, in order not all to be charming and idyllic, there are those who are bothered by these public love symbols. Thus, the German Railways, who own fence in Cologne, where are locked thousands of love padlocks, threatened to remove the padlocks from the disputable fence. After the protest they gave up that plan, under the condition that the padlocks do not jeopardize the rail transport. A similar attempt happened in Rome, where the mayor wanted to ban hanging padlocks on public buildings.
Despite all the obstacles, bridges locked with padlocks of love are spreading around the world. Recently, the Croatian capital city got a place where couples can lock their hearts – the fence near the Museum of Contemporary Art. Moscow, Prague, Guam, Rome, Florence, Paris, Seoul and Ljubljana are few of a hundred cities of love padlocks. If you haven’t locked your heart, now you know where you can do it.
By: Ema Vuković