Why I DON’T Love the Locks on the Bridges

Padlocks on the Pont de l'Archeveche, Paris, France, (DailyMail.co.uk)

Padlocks on the Pont de l’Archeveche, Paris, France, (DailyMail.co.uk)

Call me unromantic. I just don’t like them. Years ago when we visited Paris, Simon and I saw the locks hanging on the rails of the Lover’s Bridge over the Seine – we didn’t leave one. Now that we are planning our next overseas travel adventure I am of course reading LOTS of travel blogs and guides and I’ve noticed pictures of these bridges popping up all over the world! With the recent passing of Valentine’s Day it seems every Tom, Dick, Harry and their dog was locking an ugly hunk of metal to the rails of a beautiful bridge and then polluting the river below with the keys! 

You may call us hopeless dreamers to sell everything we own to travel the world with our kids, but in truth Simon and I are actually quite practical people. You see, the life changing path that we are on is very practical (at least to us!). Reduce our debt to zero. Stop wasting money on crap we don’t need. Live in smaller accommodation. Spend more time with our kids. Freedom. Experiences. Simple!

This business with locking your love to a bridge just baffles me. Call me cynical, but I believe the secret to lasting love has more to do with respect for your partner, kindness, friendship and effort, than with public vandalism and littering. I love my husband, really truly love him, and I know he loves me, but we won’t be traveling Europe with a case full of engraved locks to either prove this, or seal our love in eternity.

The ‘Love Lock’ craze has really taken off in the past 10 years. Bridges are being damaged by unattractive locks in Europe and now, all over the world. What irks me most about the European versions, is that many of the bridges are very beautiful, historical structures, (think the Ponte Vecchio in Florence!). Locks are not only ugly, they are heavy, and they rust, leaving damage on the stunning structure that has stood for hundreds of years. And then, almost to complete the act of destruction, lovers throw the keys into the river where they will inevitably rust and collect with the other rubbish in urban waterways.

Local councils have been criticized for removing the locks, (at great financial expense) but I commend them on taking a practical course of action against this, dare I say it – FAD. The bridges were not built with this additional weight in mind, and many couple’s silly romantic notions should not be allowed to cause damage to the beautiful bridge below. One country that has come up with a very practical solution to the romantic littering of it’s visitors is Russia. I love the idea of a dedicated area for lovers to hang their locks, in this case it’s a steel tree on a Moscow bridge. A practical solution to a silly problem.

Moscow Love Lock Bridge, Wikipedia.

Moscow Love Lock Bridge, Wikipedia.

10 thoughts on “Why I DON’T Love the Locks on the Bridges

  1. Definitely agree with this! I really hate seeing bridges covered in locks. I started to spot odd ones on Amsterdam’s bridges, but luckily they always got removed by the city (before they got too many). It’s really not attractive and it IS vandalism.

    • Hi Cherrie, great to hear from you 🙂 I’m glad I’m not the only one who dislikes the locks! Surely these couples can find a less damaging way to express their love? How about a nice cuddle on the bridge??!

  2. Hm interesting, I hadn’t really thought much about the locks, but I think you’re right, they are a total nuisance of a fad! I remember seeing some on a bridge in Ljubljana and thinking that it was a lame attempt to copy Paris. But without the locks I would have just admired the beauty of the bridge!

  3. Hey guys! You’re right those locks are stupid. So is St. Valentine’s day – its the one day we won’t go to the restaurant. Call me cynical, but the lock thing probably started by someone in the lock business…
    Frank (bbqboy)

  4. Why don’t they just remove a bunch of them every now and then? Understandably, they don’t want to ban the practice for tourism reasons, so removing some locks and keys and recycling them is surely a better option?

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