Thursday, August 9, 2012

AlphabeThursday - L is for Love Locks

photo by the storybeader in Bolzano

When I was in Bolzano, Italy, I was first introduced to love padlocks, something I've never heard of before.  But after showing my vacation photographs to a friend, I was told  this phenomenon is all over Europe.  So I decided to read up on it, and see what I could find.

The Bridge of Love
Love padlocking can be traced to a Serbia pedestrian bridge called Most Ljubaviin, now know as the Bridge of Love.  The story goes that a local schoolmistress fell in love with a Serbian officer during the war (this is World War I).  The officer went off to war and fell in love with another woman.  The schoolmistress died of a broken heart, and a superstition emerged among young girls.  Wanting to protect their own loves, they would  write down their lover's name and their own name on a padlock, and attach them to the railings of the bridge where the schoolmistress and officer first met.  Years later, a Serbian poet (Desanka Maksimovic) wrote a poem about this ritual of binding padlocks to the bridge railing, and it became popular again.  Now lovers throw their keys down into the river, never to be touched by another human, binding their love forever.   

Love padlocking became popular in Rome and spread throughout Europe in the early 2000s.  An Italian author by the name of Federico Moccia wrote a book called “I Want You”.  I looked for it on Amazon, but couldn't find it.  Here’s a video by sparklemachine from August 2011 about the love locks he saw in Paris, the city of love.




There are over 47,000 photographs of love padlocks on Flickr; here are just a few that were free to share under attribution/noncommercial/share alike conditions:

photo by Mahmood Al-Yousif in Cologne
On Cologne's Hohenzollern Bridge in Germany.  This bridge has over 40,000 locks.  So many in fact that authorities were worried whether the bridge could take the strain.

photo by Jonathan Colman in Finland
From a bridge in Finland.

photo by Kevin Cawley in Seattle
The tradition has even made its way across the ocean to the United States.  This photograph was taken on a Seattle bridge.

See what other posts my classmates have thought about at AlphabeThursday

26 comments:

Karen S. said...

I really like these kinds of locks about town. I so wish we had one here. I know get a lock and begin...but it isn't that easy! Bravo to all that make these and share the love that needs to be shared....!

Esther Joy said...

How neat! I haven't seen any of them in our area, but it looks like something that would catch on if someone started it!

Janet Bocciardi said...

It's funny, but I've never seen one of these bridges and we've traveled a lot! I wish I had, as it's such a hopeful story with so much love expressed on a bridge. Love it!

Nancy said...

Oh my, that's really romantic! I loved reading about the history of it too:)

Nauli said...

I've seen love locks on bridges a lot, but never this many! Looks amazing!

Sarah~Magnolia Surprise said...

Oh wow, who knew!! And I thought it was so people could padlock their bikes!

Sue said...

Fascinating, and something I had never heard of!

=)

Lmkazmierczak said...

Sounds like something the local locksmiths promoted♫♪

memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

What a cool story! I love the idea of putting their names on there and throwing the key away forever :)

VBR said...

I have heard of this before, but never actually saw photos of the practice. This is really quite interesting. So much so, I think I am going to get a lock for my honey and I and lock it onto our fence on Monday, our 31 anniversary. GREAT POST!

Splendid Little Stars said...

That is very fascinating, Deb! It's installation art with love.

debra said...

Never heard of it / learn something new every day! VERY interesting post!!! :)

Stef said...

How cool. I did see this in an episode of Bachelorette (that tells you something about me, right?). Very cool information.

Cathy Kennedy said...

This is really amazing. I haven't heard of it, either. It sort of makes me think of the reason why sweethearts inscribe their names on tree trunks or desk tops or bathroom walls. I think this is really a sweet sentiment & tradition for young or old loves!

Gattina said...

That's interesting ! I have never heard or seen about that !

Rose said...

How interesting! I'd never heard of this phenomenon either and enjoyed learning about it. How neat that you were able to experience it first hand.

zongrik said...

i've never heard of it. amazing how many others never heard of it either

lamb's wool

zongrik said...

i've never heard of it. amazing how many others never heard of it either

lamb's wool

Erika said...

I like these photos of the locks.

BeadedTail said...

So interesting! Thanks for sharing the story behind the locks!

Linda Pruitt said...

cool concept!

Andy David said...

Hello.
A blogging friend of mine is currently in Russia and they do these love locks too. I think it's such an endearing idea. Thanks for sharing.

L is for: Diary Of Love

anitamombanita said...

These bridges fascinate me!

Jenny said...

I have never heard of this!

How fascinating!

Love the visual and texture and imagery and sentiment of this.

Really, really cool!

I feel quite inspired by this post today!

Thank you.

A+

Judy Nolan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Judy Nolan said...

Deb, we heard about this last summer when we were visiting relatives in northern Germany. My 2nd cousin's boyfriend, who is study sociology, actually was doing a study about this and spent time counting locks on a bridge in Hamburg.

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