Friday, October 09, 2009

Love padlocks - Liebesschlösser

Some time ago we came walking across the Hohenzollern Bridge in Cologne, a railway bridge leading straight into the main station. I had my eyes on the river and had the opportunity to get closer to this iron man who seems to be scared of small birds.

It was not until I looked the other way to try and get some shots through the fence that I noticed something odd, which I actually had seen on the other side before.
DSC_0222_20090920_4961 crop
Many people walked past without noticing or paying any attention, but children often spot funny and surprising things, as did this young girl.

There were padlocks everywhere, and they were often interlocked. A few had nothing on them, but most of them had either something written with a permanent marker pen or as the ones on the right here, had names engraved professionally.
They could be colourful and of different designs. When I moved nearer to take a close-up I discovered something even more unusual, and perhaps clever.

There was advertising! The company that I guess has engraved a great number of all the thousands of love padlocks on this bridge, and possibly in other public places, had their own little padlock with the company name and URL. Will anybody spot it? Well, I did!

I googled and found that this is not an unusual phenomenon. You can find these love padlocks all over the world, as I discovered when I read this Wikipedia page. The fences on this bridge in Cologne will probably with time be full of padlocks. The western side seems to be where it started, and this love-locking has now moved over to the other side where we were. According to Wiki, the railway company threatened to remove all locks, but had to give in to public opinion and leave them as a symbol of people's commitment to each other.

I can just picture the scene when a love couple comes out on the bridge, how they jointly attach the lock to the fence, throw the key into the river and then seal it with a looong kiss. What do you think?


oreneta said...

Half of me really likes the idea, and half of me finds it kind of, uncomfortable.

I am not sure where a padlock fits into my feelings and sentiments of love.

I sound like I am raining on your parade, but you did ask....

lillian said...

What a GREAT idea :-) love it !!

matthew_in_ham said...

I walked across the bridge several times when on holiday there a few years ago and loved the iron man but failed to notice any padlocks. I like almost everything that counts as "street art" and I like the padlocks too.

Protege said...

Very interesting and romantic. I have heard about these kind of occurrences of lovers locking things together, most recently I read about some place in Tibet, I believe, where lovers climb the mountains to prove their devotion to each other.;)

swenglishexpat said...

Oreneta - Don't worry about "my parade". Personally I have a ring on my finger, but they could perhaps only afford a padlock. ;-)

Lillian - Thanks for visiting.

Matthew - Maybe it has taken on in the last few years. They do make people react and most people stop to take a look.

Protege - Climbing mountains sounds like a dare or a show-off!

LadyFi said...

How romantic in the symbolic way of saying I tie my heart to yours.

swenglishexpat said...

LadyFi - Yes, but who will go and unlock it if and when they break up? ;-)

Eric Valentine said...

Such an expression of love from soulmates.. A nice change to 'written in stone' :)

Limningedge said...

Quite interesting, beats carving initials in a tree, but guess that might be harder to find too, and the fringe benefit is, it is work for a lock salesman and an engraver! Maybe they could take on breakup bolt cutting too!

swenglishexpat said...

Eric - How good to see you back! I hope you are well. :-) Yeah, the stone age is long gone.

Limning Edge - Maybe you have a good business idea there! ;-) One should perhaps start an un-locksmith business, eh?

wahab said...

locksmith London
You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. It just seems too complicated and very sophisticated.

Gezi said...

Great place. Love locks on the Rhine River, the Dom Cathedral, Hohenzollern Bridge is a breathtaking sight. Yesterday I visited and shared here.