Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Periodic Exposure: Pont Des Arts

Love locks on the Pont Des Artes in Paris, France
 The Pont des Arts is the first metal bridge in Paris- it was originally constructed between 1802-1804.  It has gone through some reconstruction over the years, but it still serves as a pedestrian bridge connecting the Institut de France and the central square of the palais du Louvre.  Artists, musicians and photographers flock to this bridge for the amazing views of the Seine and the historical buildings that can be seen from it.   

There is a relatively new tradition that takes place on the Pont des Arts- couples from around the world engrave their initials into a padlock, fasten the lock onto the railing , and then throw the key into the Seine to symbolize their everlasting love.  They are called "love locks" and they are one of the reasons the Pont Des Arts is known as one of the most romantic places in Paris.  There were antique padlocks, shiny new brass ones, luggage locks, even bicycle locks.  No matter what they looked like, they all had initials and words of love either engraved or written on them.  

It was one of my favorite finds in Paris.  It was pretty amazing to walk up and down that bridge and see over 1600 locks fastened to it.  I loved the two intertwined locks with the lips on them- I can imagine a couple of lovesick teenagers performing this romantic ritual and swearing their undying love : ) So romantic.

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