Lovers Bridge Is Falling Down

The 2024 Summer Olympics are coming. Start date: July 26th. Parisians are bracing for an athlete and tourist onslaught.

Can visiting couples still declare their forever love by clamping their initials-engraved padlocks on Paris’ Pont des Arts Bridge?



Short answer: no.

“The romantic gestures cause long-term heritage degradation and danger to visitors.”

What could inspire Health and Safety officials from Paris – City of Light and Love, no less – to say such a thing?

It was the wodge of engraved love locks that couples were latching onto the city’s Pont des Arts Bridge before hurling the keys into La Seine.

Near one million keyless locks, weighing 45 tons, were left to ‘bind couples together for eternity’. But plenty of Parisians hated the look of the lock-encrusted rails and, more critically, the bridge was weakening under their weight.

“Assez!” said the Parisian officials, in 2015. The love locks were unceremoniously removed. To further discourage stubborn lovers, the city installed lock-resistant plexiglass panels. That said, visitors still try to sneak their structure-damaging locks around the city.

Paris is not the only city afflicted. The ‘Butcher’s Bridge in Ljublijana, Slovenia is pictured below.



The lovestruck have also made their way to Salzburg’s Makartsteg Bridge, the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Hohenzollern Bridge in Cologne, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Ha’penny Bridge in Dublin, the Marienbrücke bridge near Neuschwanstein castle, and Serbia’s Bridge of Love in Vrnjačka Banja, where some think love-locking began.

Some cities have tried to move the love-locking away from vulnerable bridges. In September of 2016, an official Love Locks sculpture – ‘Love in the Rain’ – was created by artist Bruce Voyce and installed in Vancouver’s wedding-photo destination, Queen Elizabeth Park. There isn’t the rebel with a bridge element, but couples can be more confident that their locks will be there when they revisit.


i) Header Photo – zibik
ii) The Butcher’s Bridge, Slovenia. Photo – Rubén Bagüés



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Elizabeth Newton

Elizabeth Newton