There are a few of these sprouting up in cities around the world, but the one I first heard of was that in Paris, France. The idea is that you and someone you love, whether it be a partner or good friend, get a lock, write your names on it and lock it to the bridge. Tradition then calls that the key be thrown into the river, and your love shall forever remain locked to the bridge.
For me, it was less symbolic of the love for my boyfriend, and more that I thought it’d be cool to leave a little something of us in a city we love. I know, I’m just so romantic!
So our plan for the day was not actually to visit the bridge. In fact, it wasn’t even on our list of must do’s for Paris. I’d heard about a bridge where people attached locks, but it had completely slipped my mind that it was even in Paris. We were actually walking along the river towards Musee D’Orsay, having got off the metro several stops early to enjoy the sunny day.
Pont de l’Archeveche is one of the main bridges in Paris that people lock their padlocks to, and is the one we stumbled upon. We jumped off the metro by Notre Dame and walked along the Seine towards the Louvre, intending to arrive at Musee D’Orsay. As we were enjoying our stroll, we saw the bridge, but didn’t realise that it was this bridge. It looked like a bit of an eye sore from far away, and it was only as we approached that we realised it was the lock bridge. Although, it appears that the trend is growing in Paris and many of the bridges across the Seine are home to padlocks. In fact, it’s become such a widespread tourist act that there is now a petition to stop people locking padlocks on the bridges. There’s an estimated 700,000 padlocks on the bridges, and people feel that it may damage the structure of the bridge and is actually an act of vandalism.
When we were on the bridge, we could see parts of the railings coming away from the side of the bridge because of the weight of the padlocks. Unfortunately, we were keen to join the tradition and put our padlock further down. If you’re ever on lock bridge, see if you can find our lock! We purposefully put it halfway down the bridge on the side facing the little island/Notre Dame. In the middle of the middle section of railing, you should be able to find our lock!
- Take a lock with you before you go. You can buy them there, but they obviously take advantage of the tourist appeal and totally overcharge for a padlock. Your padlock will also look like so many other peoples’ and if you ever want to go back it’ll be hard to find it
- Which brings me to my next point – if you ever want to go back and find it, put it somewhere easy to remember. We put ours in the middle of the side facing Notre Dame.
- Don’t put it near the top of the railing. As the sides get heavier with all the padlocks, the railing pulls away. The further down you put it, the less likely it’ll come unravelled and fall off (hence why some people feel this is more vandalism and are trying to get it banned.)
- Check out other lock bridges that are sprouting up all over the world in major cities. I’m going to try and head to the one that has recently come about in London.