Most of us will have seen or heard about the love locks that seem to be everywhere these days. On our visit to Paris we saw for ourselves the craze that started at some point in 2000. Pont de l’Archeveché, just at the back of Notre Dame, is covered in locks. Whilst my daughter and I took photos and inspected some of the locks, my husband had stolen away only to reappear a little later with two tiny golden locks with our initials on. So we followed the trend and added our tiny looks to an already heavy laden bridge and threw two tiny keys into the Seine. None of this is environmentally friendly or any good for the ancient bridge in question, so forgive me folks, but at the time it was quite romantic.
In June this year, before we got to Paris, the most famous bridge for love locks in Paris, Pont des Arts, had a collapse. The bridge mesh collapsed inwards onto the bridge under the weight of the locks. In recent weeks Paris’ City Hall has been asking lovers to take Selfies on the bridges and post them on social media instead, using #lovewithoutlocks.
As I said, the love locks have turned up everywhere, from Paris, London and Rome to Vancouver Island here in Canada. Even in my hometown of Hannover in Germany we came across them in two different places.
Nobody is really sure how this all started, although Wikipedia informs us that it all goes back to World War I. A young couple in love were separated when the lover was sent to Greece, where he fell in love with a local woman. The young woman left behind apparently died of a broken heart. Local women, wanting to keep their man so to speak, started to put these locks onto the bridge where the young lovers used to meet before the war separated them.