End of the Love Locks

This week, Paris said goodbye to thousands of padlocks that couples from around the world have left hanging on the city's bridges as symbols of their undying love.

Beginning with the Pont des Arts, the city made the decision to relieve the more densely populated bridges of these locks before the structures became a hazard, and also because Parisians weren't too fond of the aesthetics.

As cheesy as it was, Dean and I added out own pink lock to le Pont de l'ArchevĂȘchĂ© and threw the key into the Seine during our honeymoon this past February.

I felt a twinge of guilt as we did it since I knew about the issues surrounding the abundance of brass adding weight to the bridge but, when in Paris...

If I'm not mistaken, this bridge will likely be the second one to lose the locks, which have become popular for more than just declarations of love. Any day of the week, you'll see newlyweds using the locks as a backdrop for their portraits. We encountered several photo shoots.

The love locks are still a relatively new tradition but the idea apparently began with a folklore tale according to this New York Times article:
"Their history dates back at least 100 years to a melancholy Serbian tale of World War I that recounts the love of a young schoolteacher in the spa town of Vrnjacka Banja for a soldier as he was about to go to the front. When Serbia fell, the soldier married a local woman in Greece, where he had been fighting. Heartbroken, the schoolteacher died, and young girls in her town who were eager to avoid a similar fate took to placing love padlocks on one of the city's bridges." 
-New York Times

And in 2008, a couple reignited the tale and placed a lock on a bridge in Paris. Over the course of seven years, thousands of couples followed suit and even began spreading the love on bridges in other cities, including Ottawa (although it hasn't really pick-up here like it did in Paris).

So this is the end for these photo-ops. At least until another bridge gets attacked by couples in love.

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