Remember this bridge? It’s the Hohenzollernbrücke Bridge that crosses the Rhine river in Cologne, Germany. Here’s a really cool aerial shot of it.
Remember that YouTube video I linked to a couple of days ago showing this bridge destroyed during WWII? Back then it was a railway and street bridge. Anyway, reconstruction of this bridge began in 1948 and eleven years later was pronounced, as Wikipedia states: “usable without any impairment”.
Today, this bridge is one of the busiest train bridges in the world with a train crossing the Rhine once every two minutes.
Happily, this bridge is also a pedestrian bridge as well. I say happily because our hotel was located directly across the river from the Cologne Cathedral and the Hohenzollernbrücke bridge made it that much easier to get over to, well, everything.
As we crossed the bridge on our first evening, we noticed some locks fastened to the inner railing between the pedestrian walkway and the railroad tracks. Well, it’s not that unusual to see stray locks, right? Maybe they were bike locks left behind.
But gosh, so many people left their bike locks here?
And then we realized we had stumbled across something.
What in the world?
A whole COLLECTION of abandoned locks.
But upon closer inspection,
we started noticing something else.
These weren’t just ANY locks. And certainly they weren’t abandoned, per se.
They were LOVE locks! Apparently, people started leaving these “Love Padlocks” fastened to the bridge sometime in 2008 and this lover-ly idea has really taken off.
Some people leave elaborate attachments.
Some leave fancy, professionally engraved locks.
While others leave labours of love.
We wondered if this represented heartbreak?
This is, of course, just a small sampling of the love locks on Hohenzollernbrücke bridge.
We did wonder at the significance of these handcuffs! Do they represent shackles? Not very flattering, I think!
Cologne isn’t the only city sporting hardware these days. Wikipedia says that cities in Latvia, Hungary, Italy, Uruguay, Guam, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, China, Ukraine, Spain, and Sweden have their own Padlock Love sites.
Here’s an article I found on the love locks on Hohenzollernbrücke Bridge. What do you think? Have you seen anything like this before? I sure haven’t!
Anyway, now that you know about this trend, you’ll know what’s what next time you see a cluster of locks. And you won’t be puzzled if your sweetie gets you a little charming thing in a pretty blue box from this jeweller. ;-)
About the Author: JaPRA is an expat Texan living in England with her husband (Mr. DJ), their 17-year old daughter (Roxi), and their dog Trudy.