Not Loving the Locks

by farrah on May 31, 2015 · 11 comments

I never got into the love locks thing. Maybe it’s because I’m old and crabby and not very romantic. Either way, we’ve all heard by now that the famous Love Lock Bridge is falling apart in Paris and its’ days are over.

Love LocksMy boys checking it out in 2013.

From what I understand there are a couple of different camps on this situation: locals, people concerned with preserving historical architecture and authorities are pretty happy to see it go. On the other hand you have the people who never got the chance to secure a lock- or those that were able to throw away a key- and are sad to see the locks gone. I get both, but I’m going to leap here and say that I’m a member of the camp that’s for getting rid of them. I never understood the point, and honestly I did think it seemed like a disaster waiting to happen considering how popular they’ve gotten.

The first time I saw a padlock on a bridge was in Bamberg. I asked our friends what this was all about as I had never heard of it before. Where did this idea originate? What was the point? Oh. I see. It’s a promise for lovers to make to each other inspired by a book. And then I learned about the most famous bridge in Paris, and as we traveled I saw them all over Europe.

For me, it’s kind of strange for a ‘tradition’ to start after I’ve seen it. I mean- I was in Paris in 2004. The love lock thing didn’t start until 2006 (or 2008 depending what news source you read) so it was kind of confusing to me as to how this was actually a ‘tradition’. In my mind, a tradition is old. Or meaningful. I didn’t see this as either and actually felt bad for the bridge.

The weight of the locks on the Paris bridge is equal to that of TWENTY elephants. You cannot tell me that this old bridge was built to withstand or predict that kind of additional weight. There’s no way that the locks in this case were ever something that wouldn’t get out of control. I mean, it’s Paris. Sure, they’re pretty (?) to look at- but meh. I’m just an old grump- jaded and cynical I suppose but additionally, I’m not alone in my opinion.

Where do you sit on the fence? For against the love locks?

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ace CB May 31, 2015 at 6:45 am

I’m with you, chop ’em off! I just read the story this morning that the city will remove them and was happy. The historian in me bristles at the shameless defacement of a perfectly good landmark for “sentiment.” But I am the same girl that threatened to break up with my now husband if he did anything on the first Valentine’s day we were together…

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2 farrah May 31, 2015 at 7:10 am

Ha! I knew we were friends for a reason or two. I’m of the same mind.

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3 Ann May 31, 2015 at 9:54 am

The first time I saw them or heard of love locks was on a section of the great wall in China. If I remember, they were on a chain used to open and close that section of the wall, I think. Either way, it wasn’t a bridge. And what I saw was considerably less (maybe 100 locks on a chain) – but so surprising.

Then years later I saw them in Cologne and was fascinated by them. I walked into the city from the other side of the large bridge and so it went from very scattered locks and heavier as you walked towards the cathedral. My last trip to Cologne the whole bridge was much more filled.

The idea is romantic, but the damage it’s doing to structures and water – is horrible. And it also starts to really look bad after a few thousand locks.

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4 farrah May 31, 2015 at 2:05 pm

Once again proving what a non-romantic I am- I admit that what I have thought of many times after seeing them is ‘How much do the trinket shop owners love these things? One more thing for them to sell. Cheap locks.’

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5 Julia May 31, 2015 at 12:59 pm

I’m a sucker for this sort of thing and I kind of like the idea of locking it and throwing away the key. But if they have to go they have to go.

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6 farrah May 31, 2015 at 2:07 pm

Yeah, they’re kind of a pestilence by this point. It was funny as I looked a bunch of articles for this post and most of them are also with an air of disdain. Sigh. L’amour.

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7 Elizabeth May 31, 2015 at 12:59 pm

Off with their heads!!!

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8 farrah May 31, 2015 at 2:07 pm

That’s my kinda girl!

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9 Sarah May 31, 2015 at 1:53 pm

I agree with taking them off. I love the ones in Czech it is on a random chain link fences that surrounded a beautiful little canal. My husband and I had seen the ones in Paris, Koln, and other places. Since we were in the Czech as part of our 10 year anniversary trip we added to that. as it wasn’t on a historic bridge, it was on fence that the Czech had put for this purpose. It was symbolic for us as we were struggling with our marriage. It was a renewed start for us.

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10 farrah May 31, 2015 at 2:10 pm

See, I like that idea- putting some kind of structure in place for that purpose. I was reading about a ‘tree’ (I think in Russia) that grows (it’s a man made tree) with the locks over the years and that sounded sweet. These old structures just can’t handle the weight.

And congrats on giving your marriage another chance. I hope things are going well for you both!

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11 Christa June 3, 2015 at 11:29 pm

I was JUST there a couple weeks for my first trip to Paris and that bridge is so ugly because of the love locks! I posted a couple photos on Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/travelfearlessly/posts/785070534923505

I’m glad to see them go! Now I wonder whether they’re going to try and remove all the keys that were thrown into the bottom of the river. I can only imagine what that’s doing to the water!

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