Jumping on the Valentines bandwagon here with the sweeping trend of love locks! I think they’re so cute, but obviously the concerns around how they affect famous architecture, and the risks they pose due to the sheer weight of them are very real. I obviously hope that the locks that are still there in many of these places are managed to avoid any damage, but despite that, and taking this with a pinch of Valentine’s lighthearted cheesiness at the thought of lovely little couples scribbling their initials onto a padlock, and throwing the key in the river as a sign of everlasting love and happiness, here’s some of the love lock bridges to be found around the world.
Note: This post was originally shared in February 2017, and has since been updated. Permission was gained at the time for all photos shared from Instagram.
Love locks aren’t just for the famous romantic capital cities. The High Level bridge in Newcastle is one of the oldest bridges across the Tyne and is used for railways, bus and taxi services, as well as pedestrian walkways either side. It also become a home for love locks too, beautifully captured here by local photographer David Hall.
2. Paris, France
This is probably the most obvious, Paris. There were actually two in Paris, the Pont des Arts, and Pont de l’Archeveche, and certainly when I visit Paris in 2014 the bridges were absolutely dripping with padlocks that must have built up over such a long period of time. The vendors by the rivers sold the padlocks, and they hung in all shapes, colours and sizes over the Seine against a beautiful backdrop of Notre Dame and the Louvre.
However not long ago the weight of the locks was causing enough worry for the authorities that they were removed, and replaced with padlock proof plastic sheets against the railings to prevent it from happening again. I can understand why, but they were so pretty.
3. Rome, Italy
The Ponte Milvio over the Tiber river in Rome was once also a hotspot for young couples sealing the deal with a padlock! Many locks have again been removed by authorities, but some do still remain.
4. Prague, Czech Republic
Dating back to the fourteenth century the beautiful historical bridge in Prague is the backdrop for these love locks on the railings nearby. The bridge crosses the Vltava River and attracts millions of tourists every year.
5. Venice, Italy
Lovers flock to Venice don’t they, for that couples romantic gondola ride the Beckhams made even more famous in the 1990’s! Well they can also grab themselves a love lock and add it to the footbridge crossing the Piazza Grand Canal too!
6. Salzburg, Austria
When I hear the name ‘Salzburg’ I just automatically think of the Sound of Music, and lets face it there’s a romance right there if ever their was one. I bet if they could have Captain Von Trapp and Fraulein Maria would have locked their love in with a padlock crossing Salzburgs love lock bridge!
7. Cologne, Germany
The Hohenzollern Bridge in Cologne is absolutely filled with padlocks down the main pedestrian walkway. When walking along you can actually feel that the bridge is leaning slightly to the side because of them, so Im not sure how long they will be there.
They made a lovely sight though and it was quite nice reading some of the messages left by couples from all over the world when walking along it. The bridge also offers a great view of Dom Koln, and the rest of the river and Cologne skyline too. The only thing I’ll say though is literally nobody/nowhere sold padlocks, so take your own!
8. Seoul, South Korea
Take a cable car up to the Namasan Seoul Tower in South Korea. It has become a very popular spot for love locks mainly because they are actively encouraged. Couples visit the tower where authorities there have constructed iron ‘lock trees’, and there is no threat of removal for all the padlocks filling the railings.
9. New York City, USA
Of course one of the most famous bridges in the world, home to countless proposals, anniversary celebrations and memorable holidays has it’s own love locks. The Brooklyn Bridge in NYC, complete with view of the Manhattan skyline.
10. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam has a couple of bridges with the love locks attached, the one below being the bridge that crosses the Groenburgwal canal with the Zuiderkerk in the background. A very traditional view of Amsterdam! There’s also locks on the Skinny Bridge which crosses the Amstel canal.
Thanks to Jonathan Habens for the photo.
11. Vondelpark, Netherlands
It’s not just the main canals of Amsterdam that hold the love of the city, you can also find them in Vondelpark, the famous grand park known for its open air theatre and bandstand in summer.
12. Krakow, Poland
The sunsets in Krakow attract people to the Kladka Bernatka bridge to clip on their padlocks. It is also known as Little Father Bernard’s footbridge near Kazimierz.
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13. Frankfurt, Germany
The view of the skyline of Frankfurt from the Eiserner Steg bridge is probably the reason the lovers visiting Frankfurt chose it as there place to leave their locks.
14. Ottowa, Canada
The love locks weathering the snowy conditions in Canada can be found in Ottawa, over the Rideau Canal. It is a pedestrian footbridge near to the university, and thousands of locks have been added to date.
15. Milan, Italy
The canal in Navigli, a district in Milan is crossed by a little bridge adorned with love locks. Once you’ve attached yours the area has many restaurants and bars that line the canals, perfect for a beverage to celebrate!
16. Bakewell, UK
Last but not least and located on the River Wye in Derbyshire, this little love lock bridge can be found in Bakewell. Attach your lock and then find the nearest bakery selling the infamous Bakewell tart and enjoy! (I bloody love a bakewell!)
If you have a photo of another place please let me know and I’ll add it in! Huge thanks to all the Instagrammers who gave me permission to use their photos for the places I haven’t been.
I think the love lock idea is lovely, and the two padlock bridges I’ve seen in person have been very impressive and you get all the feels from them. I’ve seen varying stories about where the trend originated, some dating back decades and others more recent from books and films.
It’s a cute thing to do, and for anyone who sticks by the traditional gifts for wedding anniversaries (you know paper for 1st year, silver for 25th etc…) I’ve been told that the 11th anniversary gift is steel. So clearly a steel padlock is the ultimate way to get around this very unflattering gift of a lump of metal to turn it into something very romantic!
Happy Valentines everyone!