Padlocks on a Paris quai for 8 euros
Life in Paris & France

Padlocks of Love Weigh Down Paris Bridges

Padlocks on a Paris quai for 8 euros
Padlocks on a Paris quai for 8 euros

In September 2013, I wrote that romantic visitors to Paris attach their padlocks to the bridges. But what happens if a grill panel on a Paris bridge becomes too heavy? The fear is it will fall on a tourist’s head. The potential catastrophe is  a concern for Paris, the “capital of love”, and the mayor of the sixth arrondissement.

No Love Locks™” has begun a petition to end the use of padlocks on the bridges of Paris. Sign the petition in either French or English.

City workers regularly inspect the guardrail grills and when necessary replace the grill with a plank of wood until a new grill is installed.

Thieves are another problem. They dismount the grills to recycle and sell the metal.

In the article ” The Passerelle des Arts – overwhelmed with love“,  The Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, refuses to prohibit the practice, while Jean-Pierre Lecoq, mayor of the sixth arrondissement, is worried that a dangerous accident is waiting to happen.

Pont des Arts October 2009 no locks on the bridge
Sign No Love Locks™ petition to ban padlocks


How it All Began
The book (“J’ai envie de toi…” ) and film (“Ho voglia di te”/”I Desire You, I Want You“) from 2007 may have influenced Paris lovers/visitors since 2008 to fasten their love to four different Paris bridges.

Popular in Moscow, Rome, Liverpool and Hamburg, one theory for the padlock tradition suggests it began in Pécs (Hungary) in the nineteenth century. At that time, soldiers stationed in the city used to leave behind the padlocks with which they had secured their barrack room wardrobes.Master padlock

Add to the Problem or Instead Go Virtual
Fear not, there is always virtual love. Whether Paris is on your bucket list for the future or not, hang a “padlock of love” on a bridge, virtually in four steps.

Visit the gallery of padlocks (“Voir la valerie des cadenas”)
To find your lock and that of your valentine, type in your name and your valentine’s name.
Click “Ok” or look for your bridge
Step 1: Choose (choisir) a lock
Step 2: Choose a city
Step 3: Write a message (Votre message….) and enter (Valider)
Step 4: First name (Prénom), your email, name of your valentine, email of your valentine – enter and see the card

Padlocks and sign on Pont des Arts. Sign is a caution about domestic violence is torn and filled with grafitti.
Padlocks and sign on Pont des Arts. Sign is a caution about domestic violence is torn and filled with grafitti.

On the next page is your message to send (“Envoyer”) and share your lock of love with your valentine. Any changes? click on “Modifier”
Click the terms & conditions box (“Mentions légale”) – (The names and email addresses given will only be used for this electronic card. They will be conserved only for the duration of this event/game (“jeu”). No third party will have access to them. You must over eleven years of age to play. The card may not be used for any kind of advertising.Click send (Envoyer) and Enjoy!

Lisa Anselmo and Lisa Taylor Huff of No Love Locks™ wrote a guest blog on the subject for Mary Kay Bosshart’s blog “Out and About in Paris” in March 2014.