How does one proclaim their love for another? How do you express “I want to be yours forever?” Flowers, chocolates, jewelry? Maybe. But it seems that in the past few years couples have found a new way to profess their love – by hanging padlocks of love.
In one of my recent travels, I came across this peculiar expression of love. I was walking across the Hohenzollernbrucke (Hohenzoller Bridge) in Cologne, Germany and noticed that thousands of padlocks were all over the bridge’s barrier which separates the pedestrian sidewalk from the train tracks. Upon closer inspection I saw how names, initials, dates or love notes were written on them.
Apparently this custom in Cologne started in 2008. It was an amazing sight. Padlocks of all colors, shapes and sizes were all over the fence. I was even tempted to put one of my own but I was afraid the German police would see me and send me to jail! :) This custom was believed to have begun in China. Couples would secure their padlock and throw away its keys to symbolize locking their souls together. These love locks can now be found all over the world – Ukrain, Guam and Russia just to name a few. Their beliefs about the locks may vary per city but one thing is still true- all is done for love. And as a true romantic, it was wonderful and inspiring to be surrounded by that much love – even if it was just through symbols.