A fusion of food, travel and photography.

5 Days in Paris: Love Locks

It took me nearly 20 trips to Paris to venture off the beaten tourist path and explore other photo opportunities the city has to offer. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t previously discovered this bridge, but crossing the Seine from Ile Saint-Louis to Rive Gauche, I found something I have never before seen. The entire fencing along the bridge was covered in padlocks and colorful streamers. Upon closer inspection, most of the padlocks had names, initials or other writing on them.

Like the colorful pairs of lace-tied sneakers thrown over power lines in some cities, these locks formed a latticework of color and texture spanning the entire length of the bridge. The streamers represented locks for those who didn’t have access to, or couldn’t afford, an actual padlock.

What were these locks about, I wondered…

They are Love Locks! As a bridge joins two bodies, these locks join two hearts. A public declaration of one’s love for another. Lovers write their names or initials on a padlock, latch it to the bridge and throw the key into the river, symbolizing their hearts forever locked in love.

Paris Love Locks

The lights, the sights, the food and the mood of Paris are romantic enough for any traveler. Please don’t remain naïve enough to think that once you have seen Paris, you have “been there and done that.” Paris is such a dynamic city it continually reinvents itself. Thought you were already in love with Paris? How about showing the world your love for each other by adding your Love Lock to the Pont de l’Archevêché bridge?

Next year will be our 20th anniversary and what better gift to give each other than our very own Love Lock in Paris? Au Revoir…

137 responses

  1. Carole Zion

    Never heard about Love Locks before. What a HOT post.

    April 27, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    • I thought it was a fantastic idea. It is spreading to other cities across Europe and Asia.

      April 29, 2011 at 6:01 pm

  2. Kimberly

    I LOVED this post. What great symoblism….love, love, love the love locks!

    May 2, 2011 at 8:48 am

  3. I’ve heard about this bridge before, but never seen a close-up pic. Amazing!

    May 11, 2011 at 10:21 am

  4. Beautiful photos … and sentiment!

    We have a small town in Nevada named Lovelock, and it has a fence with locks as well — where you’re supposed to “lock your love.” Cute concept, I think — but I’m guessing you’ve photographed the inspiration for this idea! 🙂

    May 11, 2011 at 10:21 am

  5. Cool post. The “Love Locks” idea is a beautiful one!

    May 11, 2011 at 10:33 am

  6. What a fascinating tradition and symbol of love. Thank you for sharing.

    May 11, 2011 at 10:46 am

  7. This is the first time I’ve heard of such a tradition. this is a unique celebration of love:)

    May 11, 2011 at 10:55 am

  8. Oh – I will look for this in July when I’m in Paris, how beautiful and uniquely parisienne!

    May 11, 2011 at 10:59 am

  9. Alive aLwaYs

    Love locks are certainly are testimony to their esteemed commitment.
    Go ahead with your plans. 🙂

    May 11, 2011 at 11:06 am

  10. What a cool bridge! Definitely makes for a great photo opp. Would love to see more pictures of the locks!

    May 11, 2011 at 11:07 am

  11. T. L. A.

    I love your pictures

    May 11, 2011 at 11:12 am

  12. Lu

    I saw this bridge in September last year, there were considerably fewer locks on it back then… Looks like the love has grown! Nice post & congrats on being FP’d.

    May 11, 2011 at 11:14 am

  13. Love locks eh? That is definitely a new one on me! Very interesting post – Good luck for your 20th Anniversary and congrats on being freshly pressed. Beautiful photos.

    May 11, 2011 at 11:21 am

  14. Interesting! I have never seen this bridge either (they did a similar thing on the Skye Bridge last year with textiles) but am in Paris later this month so will certainly be going there, thank you.

    May 11, 2011 at 11:25 am

  15. I never knew of this before. Thanks for sharing the love 🙂

    May 11, 2011 at 11:29 am

  16. Wow! I first saw these love locks in a little town of Pecs in Hungary. I never knew they had one too in Paris. 🙂 Nice post.

    May 11, 2011 at 11:33 am

  17. Tracy López

    I’ve been to France but not Paris. I never thought I’d have any desire to return but I so want to visit the love lock bridge now. I had never heard of it before and it’s beautiful. I want to put a lock on the fence with my husband some day.

    Thanks so much for sharing this.

    May 11, 2011 at 11:41 am

  18. Camille Anne

    A friend of mine visited Prague, and love locks were prevalent there too. Cool idea.

    May 11, 2011 at 11:53 am

  19. What a cool idea and great photos too! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

    May 11, 2011 at 11:58 am

  20. What a great idea! I am going to see if there is something like that near me. Congrats on being freshly pressed.

    May 11, 2011 at 12:08 pm

  21. I spent a few months in Italy a few years back. The Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy hosts the same thing. Tons of locks with lovers’ names written on them. The legend says you kiss the lock and throw the key in the river. I love it. Have a black and white image if you would like to see it! 🙂

    May 11, 2011 at 12:31 pm

  22. LOVE LOCKS~~ I have also seen this in Japan before, but its more special here when the key is thrown into the sea, the love is sealed by the big big sea n is forever witness by the sea……ar…..so great n unique~`~

    really hope one day i can also hang this love lock with my lover n our love is sealed by the big big sea….~~~

    did u hang the love lock there too? hehe~~~

    May 11, 2011 at 12:32 pm

  23. Miki

    I’ve been to Paris several times and never had the opportunity of stumbling on this bridge as you have. Lucky you – 🙂 – Thanks so much for sharing the cool pics and history!
    If I venture there again I shall make a point to visit it.

    May 11, 2011 at 12:33 pm

  24. I love that! I’ve never been to Paris, but if I ever do make it there, this bridge will definitely be on my ‘to-do’ list. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    May 11, 2011 at 12:35 pm

  25. great idea and great photos!!! what could be more romantic than locking you love on a bridge?! i’m certainly going to visit this place some time!!! beautiful post!

    May 11, 2011 at 12:37 pm

  26. Wow: I was on the Pont de l’Archevêché last night! What a coincidence!

    May 11, 2011 at 12:41 pm

  27. LOVE the LOVE LOCKS. What great symbolism. I love love, I love Paris (although I have never been) I can’t get enough. Took French way back in HS… wish I would have continued. Paris is one of the places on my long list of places to go. Hope to make it there one day and maybe with my future husband (where ever he may be), we can put a lock on the love bridge.

    This also makes me believe my thoughts on love, once your hearts are connected… sort of like the lock with the lost key… there will always be a connection and the lock will always be there to prove it.

    Thank you for the beautiful post.

    May 11, 2011 at 12:44 pm

  28. Happy anniversary. Very romantic. On our way to the Tate Modern in London recently, we crossed Millenium Bridge and noticed a few locks hanging – the start of a trend?

    May 11, 2011 at 12:54 pm

  29. Do they still allow people to put locks on that fence until now?

    May 11, 2011 at 12:55 pm

  30. TheHopeMurmur

    Very nice!

    May 11, 2011 at 1:15 pm

  31. very dope! i would have never known about love locks if it wasnt for you, nice photos and blog by the way! congrats on being freshly pressed

    May 11, 2011 at 1:29 pm

  32. i am so glad you made that 20th trip and found this Love Locked bridge. stunning. thank you for sharing.

    May 11, 2011 at 1:34 pm

  33. kcmorley

    I saw this in Italy a few years ago, two random locks with initials and dates on a random fence behind a church, overlooking the ocean. I forgot about it until I saw this post. These pics are really cool!

    May 11, 2011 at 1:36 pm

  34. Awesome post on something so sweet and romantic yet rarely heard of! This is definitely my first time hearing of love locks but I definitely want to look more into this now!

    May 11, 2011 at 2:20 pm

  35. This is great! Love locks… never knew something so simple could turn into something so amazing. The story behind it is great and im pretty sure every couple would love to be a part of… Nicee work and Beautiful Picturesss=]

    May 11, 2011 at 2:40 pm

  36. Lived in Paris close to this particular area for 1 year. Never saw it! Not much of a lover it appears. Thanks for sharing btw

    May 11, 2011 at 2:42 pm

  37. nehaphutela

    gud 1

    May 11, 2011 at 2:50 pm

  38. Carrie

    Paris is on my “cities to visit” list. I Love the LOVE LOCKS post and pictures! A bridge I def want to visit now! Thanks for sharing! I enjoy your blog.

    May 11, 2011 at 3:12 pm

  39. Love Locks are becoming more and more popular. I just posted pictures of some of them on a bridge in my home town in Germany as well.

    Until I read your article it didn’t occur to me that some could have been left behind by foreign tourists. Then again, my city isn’t nearly as romantic as Paris.

    Now I am going to check out your photos of Berlin.

    May 11, 2011 at 3:27 pm

  40. I was just in Rome for Easter and I saw this on one of the bridges. I was a bit unsure what it was for but snapped a few pictures of them anyways. Great post.

    May 11, 2011 at 3:39 pm

  41. Thanks for showing me something of Paris I had never seen.



    May 11, 2011 at 3:45 pm

  42. A J

    Loved this idea of Love locks. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    May 11, 2011 at 3:56 pm

  43. Nice to see the images of Paris, I really like the last one.

    May 11, 2011 at 4:04 pm

  44. Awesome blog. I just came back from paris a week ago,I wish i had know about the Love Lock. My husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary and leavin a lock would have been an awesome way to mark it. Next time tho!

    May 11, 2011 at 4:12 pm

  45. LOVE IT!

    May 11, 2011 at 4:20 pm

  46. Très belle article, point de vue d’un Parisien.

    May 11, 2011 at 4:31 pm

  47. Hey love the photos. I saw the same love locks on the Brooklyn Bridge a couple of months ago, so romantic

    May 11, 2011 at 4:33 pm

  48. Pingback: Catherine’s palace on the Seine « Destination Story

  49. I love this. I want to put a lock as well, but I am in Miami!

    May 11, 2011 at 5:34 pm

  50. MIchelle

    I love coming across heartwarming things like this that make for such a great story to share with the world! Thanks for taking the time to share!

    May 11, 2011 at 5:51 pm

  51. This is very interesting. Nice photo. I lived in Paris from 1991-1993, and there were no love locks back then. This must be a new thing, but such a lovely sentiment it is.

    May 11, 2011 at 5:52 pm

  52. printpasteplay

    Wish you would have took some close ups of the lock but maybe thats taboo just sooo romantic (*_*) Thanks!

    May 11, 2011 at 5:59 pm

  53. I walked by that bridge when I was in Paris, but I never crossed it. Now, it appears I have a reason to go back – those locks are such a beautiful expression of humanity. Things like this give me faith in people all over again. 🙂

    May 11, 2011 at 6:09 pm

  54. So fun to read your post about this; everybody travelling to paris is fond of this bridge!
    I’m french and I can tell you that it’s not really a tradition as everyone tends to believe. It’s even a rather recent fact, not more than a couple of years. But, it’s still nice.

    May 11, 2011 at 6:10 pm

  55. Last year, I read about Love Locks in a bridal magazine article, which focused on China as the setting of the romantic gesture. Then I took a trip to Sicily a few months later and found engraved padlocks on a metal railing overlooking the sea in Taormina. Had I not read that article, I would have been baffled (at first, anway. I like to think I catch on quickly.) [A twist I noticed was interlocking padlocks. Perhaps that symblolizes individuality within the committed relationship.] I think the tradition may be off to an early start in Taormina, because I didn’t see nearly the number of locks you did. Thank you for sharing the photo. 🙂 -Jen

    May 11, 2011 at 6:26 pm

  56. Pingback: Pick a blog or blog post you enjoy and write a post about it. « Exploring the world through the web

  57. Wow, this is amazing. I wonder when the first few locks were placed on the bridge… Beautiful 🙂 Nice photos too!

    May 11, 2011 at 6:53 pm

  58. I saw this! I loved it…so romantic 🙂

    May 11, 2011 at 7:13 pm

  59. this is good for business locks also! Thanks for sharing !

    May 11, 2011 at 7:31 pm

  60. I’m studying in Wroclaw, Poland at the moment, and there is a LoveLock bridge here as well. It is adorable. I saw one in Kiev, Ukraine, as well!

    May 11, 2011 at 7:35 pm

  61. Modern Funk

    I laughed at all those locks last week, too. Paris was amazing! Still working on posting my many pics. We took over 600!

    Congrats on FP!

    May 11, 2011 at 8:04 pm

  62. I lived on the Ile Saint-Louis on Rue Poulletier back in th 70’s and took this bridge to my classes at the Sorbonne. Thank you for the update. Beautiful colors in the things you photograph.

    May 11, 2011 at 8:15 pm

  63. They should at least lock something up!

    May 11, 2011 at 8:18 pm

  64. zulfa

    i like it,

    May 11, 2011 at 8:19 pm

  65. Next year will be our 30th anniversary, and we’ve been trying to think of something special to do. I think you’ve given me a great idea. Love locks will certainly be part of it. Beautiful post! Well done on the FP!

    May 11, 2011 at 8:22 pm

  66. dreamxingdong

    I love this!

    May 11, 2011 at 9:15 pm

  67. Ruel Johnson

    Lovely stuff

    May 11, 2011 at 9:54 pm

  68. This is great! Planning a trip with my sister and will add this to the list.

    May 11, 2011 at 9:54 pm

  69. Love!

    May 11, 2011 at 10:20 pm

  70. Love lock is really a romantic thing! Thank you for your sharing!

    May 11, 2011 at 10:52 pm

  71. krs

    i just noticed this bridge too. thought, how on earth have i missed this? funny how each alley, each corner, can bring a discovery in paris. some of my favorite photos of paris are ones taken off the beaten path.

    May 11, 2011 at 10:52 pm

  72. Love locks? I learned something new!!! Thanks for this post!

    May 11, 2011 at 10:59 pm

  73. The Chic Nerd

    Oh…how nice! What a wonderful bridge with a wonderful meaning. 🙂 I love it all!

    We’re actually planning a trip to Paris this summer, and this definitely gives me some valuable insight. Thanks for sharing, and congrats on being FP. 😉

    May 11, 2011 at 11:29 pm

  74. So cute and sweet even I want to go there and lock my love forever and ever…

    May 12, 2011 at 1:58 am

  75. great and i really love it……………

    May 12, 2011 at 2:16 am

  76. I think I’ve seen something similar in Prague but not on a bridge. My friend had a similar photo posted on facebook from somewhere in Italy. Never been to this spot in Paris. Beautiful picture. Thank you for sharing.

    May 12, 2011 at 2:22 am

  77. How romantic!

    May 12, 2011 at 2:31 am

  78. Thanks for sharing this! I’ll definitely look for it if i ever go back to Paris again 🙂

    May 12, 2011 at 2:51 am

  79. I live in Paris since 3 years..And that right there is my favourite place…:) i spend almost every sunday there 🙂 Amazing

    May 12, 2011 at 3:03 am

  80. I first discovered such Love Locks in Seoul on the Seoul National Tower. It is packed there, you cannot find a place where to put yours anymore…if you even want to put one up 😉 But it looks fabulous!

    May 12, 2011 at 4:12 am

  81. blackwatertown

    Just as krs was saying – how have I missed this on my various trips flaneuring round the wonderful centre of Paris?
    Great stuff.
    Good pics.
    Thanks for the revelation.

    May 12, 2011 at 4:34 am

  82. It’s an Italian idea. It springs in Italy, in Rome, at Ponte Milvio, 10-15 or 20 years ago.
    But it’s a great problem, not so romantic…

    May 12, 2011 at 4:36 am

  83. I like this very much. I saw this once in Firenze, Italy. Same principal….and so very romantic. Nice find!

    May 12, 2011 at 5:01 am

  84. it was such a great info and i m so happy to know about it. amazing.

    May 12, 2011 at 5:37 am

  85. Really fascinating idea.I just love this.Thanks a lot for sharing it with us.

    May 12, 2011 at 5:41 am

  86. wow.. what a colorfull.. 🙂

    May 12, 2011 at 5:51 am

  87. Wow! Till today I had never heard of Love Locks. I wonder how it all started, and who were the first couple to declare their love for each other there first. I hope to visit there soon and see it with my own eyes.

    Thanks for sharing!

    May 12, 2011 at 5:53 am

  88. I Like it! At least I did until I thought about it a little more. The padlock is so final, hard and unyielding. Perhaps even when the love has waned, the unfortunate lovers find themselves eternally bound by the symbolic lock on the bridge. One won’t give the other a divorce, one dreams about the other etc.
    Congrats on the Freshly Pressed. x

    May 12, 2011 at 5:55 am

  89. I saw something like that in Korea, they have it on a bridge they call it the love bridge and two people get the same shape of locks then write down something on them & lock them togther on the fence.

    May 12, 2011 at 6:05 am

  90. These locks are not matching with the culture of paris…. a glamors city

    May 12, 2011 at 7:00 am

  91. interesting post and great concept

    May 12, 2011 at 7:14 am

  92. very good blog

    May 12, 2011 at 7:52 am

  93. i think that we should try to find something new!

    May 12, 2011 at 8:09 am

  94. We’ve been trying to find out if there are similar Lovers Lock’s bridges in the UK but, alas, I do not think we Brits are as romantic as the French… Great pics and blog, thanks!

    May 12, 2011 at 8:48 am

  95. Wow! i always wanted to go to Paris! 😉

    May 12, 2011 at 8:54 am

  96. 小傅同学

    Finally I get the answer here! I’m wondering why people hang a lot of locks on the bridges.

    May 12, 2011 at 9:01 am

  97. I first saw one of these bridges in Prague! So much better than carving your names in wood. I attempted to start a lock bridge in Berlin… haven´t been back to the spot since, but I want to check if it has caught on!

    May 12, 2011 at 9:03 am

  98. Pingback: Are there any romantics in Britain? « Feeling Secure

  99. In Paris Love is in the air … you become addicted. trust me^^,

    May 12, 2011 at 9:12 am

  100. I had read about this bridge somewhere, I think in a review about an artist. But the article didn’t include a photo of the bridge. What a fantastic idea for lovers to add locks to the bridge. Thanks for sharing your photos!

    May 12, 2011 at 9:23 am

  101. Pingback: 5 Days in Paris: Love Locks (via Brad Bell Photo) | From Politics to the Sticks

  102. This is really just one of those beautiful and heartwarming things you can’t help but smile at. One day, I’ve promised myself, one day I’ll be standing on that bridge.

    May 12, 2011 at 9:53 am

  103. Ryan Johnson

    Nice photos. I was just recently in Paris. Wish I had known about the love locks while I was there! Nice photos!

    May 12, 2011 at 10:31 am

  104. Going to Paris soon and I’m definitely going to try to check this out!
    Congrats on being freshly pressed!

    May 12, 2011 at 10:45 am

  105. Pingback: 5 Days in Paris: Love Locks (via Brad Bell Photo) | Ajitox

  106. I went to Paris with my family last June and my parents were sad to find we had no spare locks when we crossed this bridge! But there were not as many ribbons and locks on it.

    May 13, 2011 at 1:13 am

    • Thank you so much for everyone’s comments. I’m so glad I could share my experience through my photos. I hope to be back in Paris next year, adding my own lock to the bridge!

      May 13, 2011 at 7:47 am

      • ruth

        plz give us more features like this in future, that was a great piece of work!

        May 16, 2011 at 10:41 am

  107. Pingback: Life is the Bubbles

  108. kels

    I love this.

    May 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm

  109. lisa

    there’s another ‘love locks’ bridge closer to the Louvre… it’s called Pont des Arts. beautiful during the day and spectacular at night. all of paris’ youth comes to hangout, picnic, and drinking wine under the stars while watching the eiffel tower light up in the background. A DEF MUST SEE!

    May 13, 2011 at 3:19 pm

  110. Jules

    I love this! I have definitely heard of the love locks on the bridge before and always wanted to see it. Thankfully, I’m going to Paris later this summer.

    May 13, 2011 at 3:34 pm

  111. sonja

    Great blog! I’m following…I love to travel but unfortunately am not able to do so right now. I love your perspective. I think I will be able to vicariously travel with you until my next trip. Kudos for being an adventurer!

    May 14, 2011 at 4:52 am

  112. realanonymousgirl2011

    How beautiful! I can’t wait to go one day.

    May 14, 2011 at 3:22 pm

  113. Pingback: Love Locked in Paris (via Brad Bell Photo) « Chanel and Something else

  114. such a sweet idea! I want to see it 🙂

    May 15, 2011 at 5:18 pm

  115. Pingback: Facts of Paris « Life is the Bubbles

  116. Jailson Rainer

    beautiful! 😉

    May 16, 2011 at 11:55 am

  117. this is just so sweet 🙂

    May 18, 2011 at 1:35 am

  118. blogsreflexion

    Lovely post on ‘Lovelocks’!!

    May 19, 2011 at 1:26 am

  119. Lovely post. Amazing story.

    May 21, 2011 at 8:44 am

  120. I saw something like that in Korea, they have it on a bridge they call it the love bridge and two people get the same shape of locks then write down something on them & lock them togther on the fence.

    May 25, 2011 at 4:53 am

  121. Pingback: Hello Misrata… I mean Masr and we are all chinese ande toktok « kingofbakislami

  122. Deepinder Sandhu

    Oh beautiful !!!! love this world….

    May 25, 2011 at 3:38 pm

  123. Thank you so much for sharing! It must have been amazing to see, and photograph

    May 25, 2011 at 8:52 pm

  124. i am so glad you made that 20th trip and found this Love Locked bridge. stunning. thank you for sharing.

    May 25, 2011 at 10:56 pm

  125. Wow! Till today I had never heard of Love Locks. I wonder how it all started, and who were the first couple to declare their love for each other there first. I hope to visit there soon and see it with my own eyes.

    May 26, 2011 at 5:54 am

  126. ahhh.,.. france… i wanna be there… 😦

    May 29, 2011 at 5:36 am

  127. This is great! 🙂

    May 31, 2011 at 7:30 am

  128. I just noticed these locks on the Brooklyn Bridge. I walk the bridge all the time but it took a walking tour with the Urban Park Rangers to point them out.

    Thanks for sharing.

    June 6, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    • I was just in NYC but didn’t walk the Brooklyn Bridge. Glad to see they have caught on all around the world!

      June 7, 2011 at 8:57 am

  129. Shren

    Nice post, please do write more posts.

    September 6, 2011 at 1:13 pm

  130. Great photos! Love locks are showing up all over. There is a giant dream catcher just outside the entrance to Zion National Park in Utah that is covered with Love locks.

    September 9, 2011 at 12:53 pm

  131. Tom

    I Just got some lovelocks which my family and I locked on the tower bridge in london. Such a wonderful Idea!

    November 30, 2011 at 6:38 am

  132. Pingback: (Pad)locks of Love « Save the Date Products & Wedding Planning Resources for Every Bride

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