Ahh Paris! The City of Love. In case you missed one of this week’s most romantic travel news pieces, here’s the story of the beautiful bridge beginning to crumble under the weight of love…
Tourists had to be evacuated from one of Paris’s most famous bridges, the Pont des Arts, on Sunday evening when the bridge started to crumble under the weight of too many “love padlocks” locked onto it.
In recent years, the bridge has become a symbol of romance for visitors from all over the world who lock a padklock on to it then throw the key in the River Seine, to seal their love forever in the city of love.
According to reports, the ‘love padlock’ tradition began in Hungary in the early 20th century, by a woman who lost her love, a soldier, during WW1.
This ritual began In Paris in 2008 on the Pont des Arts but there are padlocks on the Pont de l’Archevêché near Notre Dame too, now. Two other bridges in Italy, the Ponte Vecchio in Florence and the Ponte l’Accademia in Venice, are also overloaded with love padlocks which threaten their structure.
On Sunday night police were called in to the Pont des Arts bridge area to cordon off the area when a metal grille fell inwards (luckily) rather than into the Seine, which could have caused injuries had it fallen on a passing river boat.
Now there are calls to stop the padlock tradition, as the bridge heaves under the weight of thousands of padlocks. A ‘No Love Locks’ campaign, with the tagline ‘Free Your Love. Save Our Bridges’ was launched by two Americans in Paris earlier this year, in response to some 700,000 padlocks appearing around the city.
Kourtney Kardashian and her husband are just two celebrities who have “sealed” their love on the Pont des Arts, a favourite bridge with artists for its beautiful views down the River Seine.