Lock Your Love

Maxx-brides Honeymoon - - Destination - Text by An­to­nius Martono|

At a num­ber of lo­ca­tions in Asia love pad­locks are af­fixed to high bridges or tow­ers, and the keys are thrown to the depths be­low to sym­bol­ise com­mit­ment. In some cases, the locks started out in one lo­ca­tion, and once that lo­ca­tion was overwhelmed by a blizzard of pad­locks, the locks be­gan to spread to additional fences, bridges and stat­ues, as hap­pened in Pécs, Hun­gary. Most com­monly, the cou­ples in­stalling love pad­locks on fences and bridges are young and sim­ply dat­ing, but in some ar­eas new­ly­weds are the main cul­prits. Love pad­locks can be found through­out Europe, as well as in China, Tai­wan, Ja­pan, South Korea, Uruguay and even as far as Guam.

Pécs, Hun­gary

Who said it’s the thought that counts? Through­out his­tory, ro­man­tics have con­structed elab­o­rate mon­u­ments to show just how much they care – though the love-story end­ings weren’t al­ways so happy. A sim­pler way to sym­bol­ise your love is af­fix­ing a pad­lock to a land­mark at cities around the world.

In Pécs, stu­dents and lovers be­gan to clamp pad­locks to a wrought-iron fence in a nar­row street link­ing the mosque in the city’s main square and a mag­nif­i­cent me­dieval cathe­dral in the 1980s, ei­ther as a sym­bol of the strug­gle to com­plete their stud­ies or a sym­bol of their com­mit­ment to one an­other. How­ever, af­ter the fence was com­pletely cov­ered and no more pad­locks could be added, cou­ples, both lo­cals and tourists, be­gan at­tach­ing them to fences and stat­ues through­out the town cen­tre.

Ponte Mil­vio, Italy

Start­ing at the Ponte Mil­vio bridge in Rome the rit­ual of love pad­locks has gained a sig­nif­i­cant pres­ence in Italy, mainly in­spired by a fic­tional event in the book “I Want You” by Ital­ian au­thor Fed­erico Moc­cia, which was later made into the film “Ho Voglia Di Te.”

Malá Strana, Prague, Czech Repub­lic

In Prague, love pad­locks can be found in Malá Strana district on a small pedes­trian bridge over a sidearm of the Vl­tava in front of a wa­ter wheel. The name of the ad­ja­cent street is Velkopřevorské náměsti (Grand Pri­ory Square; the lo­ca­tion is just next to John Len­non Wall.) Pad­locks have also started to ap­pear at the Charles Bridge (Kar­lův most), at­tached to the or­na­men­tal rails and some sculp­tures.

Enoshima, Ja­pan

At the cliff-side on Enoshima Is­land is a pavil­ion with a bell that is ded­i­cated to the mythol­ogy of a five-headed dragon who loved a heav­enly maiden un­til he died. Cou­ples ring the bell to­gether as a vow of eter­nal love and a huge num­ber of them em­pha­size that love with a lock on the fence around the pavil­ion.

Mount Huang­shan, China

Nearly ev­ery metal chain-link fence or metal pole at Mount Huang in China has been adorned with pad­locks, where it is cus­tom­ary to “lock your soul” to­gether and then throw the key over the edge of the cliff into the misty val­leys be­low. It is sug­gested that the cus­tom of lock­ing a pad­lock and throw­ing away the key’ prob­a­bly orig­i­nated in China.

N Seoul Tower, Seoul, South Korea

Along a fence on the ground ter­race at­tached to the N Seoul Tower on Mount Nam­san in cen­tral Seoul, thou­sands of locks have been hung to rep­re­sent the love of their own­ers. The keys for the locks are of­ten thrown away as in­sur­ance for the sweet­hearts’ vows to never sep­a­rate. Due to the dan­ger posed by thrown keys, the tower op­er­a­tor has posted warn­ing signs and pro­vided a “key bin” for their dis­posal.

Fengyuan, Tai­wan

In Fengyuan, Tai­wan, young people af­fix pad­locks en­graved with wishes (of­ten of love or suc­cess) to an over­pass at the city’s train sta­tion. These locks are known

“... where it is cus­tom­ary to “lock your soul” to­gether and then throw the key ...”

as “wish locks”; a com­mon prac­tice is for lovers to af­fix two pad­locks close to each other or pad­locked to­gether (“heart locks”). Lo­cal leg­end holds that the mag­netic field gen­er­ated by trains pass­ing un­der­neath will cause en­ergy to ac­cu­mu­late in the locks and ful­fil the wishes.

Guam, United States of Amer­ica

Love pad­locks can be seen in Guam’s Two Lovers’ Point (Pun­tan dos Amantes). Cou­ples usu­ally af­fix the lock to the metal bar­rier on the view­ing deck over­look­ing the ocean, usu­ally with their names on it or even im­por­tant dates. A vari­a­tion of this is the use of plas­tic bag tags that are some­times pur­chased at the nearby sou­venir shop when a con­ven­tional pad­lock is un­avail­able.

Mount Keira, Wol­lon­gong, Aus­tralia

Love pad­locks have be­gun ap­pear­ing along the fence at the Mount Keira look­out, just west of Wol­lon­gong, and along the Sea Cliff Bridge on the Grand Pa­cific Drive, just north of Wol­lon­gong. Wol­lon­gong is a ma­jor city in New South Wales, just south of Syd­ney. It is un­der­stood that the lo­cal coun­cil re­moved the love pad­locks lo­cated on the Sea Cliff Bridge sev­eral years ago.

Mon­te­v­ideo, Uruguay

A foun­tain in Mon­te­v­ideo, on Avenida 18 de Julio a few blocks east of Plaza In­de­pen­den­cia, is des­ig­nated for love pad­locks. A plaque is af­fixed to the front of the foun­tain that pro­vides an ex­pla­na­tion in both English and Span­ish. The English ver­sion of the text reads, “The leg­end of this young foun­tain tells us that if a lock with the ini­tials of two people in love is placed in it, they will re­turn to­gether to the foun­tain and their love will be for­ever locked.”

Koibito no oka enoshima land

Fongyuan Sta­tion

Charles Bridge Mala Strana

Pad Lock Trees N Seoul

Mon­te­v­ideo Love Foun­tain

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