The amount of locks lining Paris’s Pont des Arts is staggering. Thousands of mostly golden-colored padlocks or cadenas d’amour glisten in the afternoon sun in the middle of the Seine. Symbols of love for all to see.
Since 2008 lovers have been professing their ardent desires for one another on the Pont des Arts bridge, with locks that is. Built in 1804, the romantic footbridge offers sweeping views of the Seine and a spot to leave a mark. A love mark.
Take a seat on the bridge and take in the sights: Notre Dame’s tall cathedral towering in the distance, riverboats cruising underneath, the soft, willowy trees blowing in the breeze on each side. The locks are not the only thing to see.
Once the lock is brandished with names and then affixed to the bridge, the lovers toss the key into the Seine as a sign of their eternal devotion. It is not clear how the phenomenon started but it isn’t stopping anytime soon. There are a few government officials who threaten to cut the locks down every so often but they are mostly seen as a positive symbol. Not to mention a tourist spot!
But remember this, there are two bridges to choose from when it comes to adhering a lock: Pont des Arts is for committed love and Pont de l’Archevêché is for your lover. Ah, only in Paris.