As we were leaving Notre-Dame Cathedral, we came across one of my favorite romantic French customs – a love lock bridge. The story behind the love lock bridges is that if you come to Paris with your lover or your spouse, you must write your names on a lock and add it to the bridge. Then you lock your love forever by tossing the keys into the river below.
It’s an extremely popular tradition as evidenced by the burgeoning number of locks on the Pont de l’Archevêché, one of the most popular love lock bridges in Paris, located behind the cathedral. The bridge has become so laden with locks that people have begun to lock their locks to other people’s locks. (I don’t even want to speculate what that would mean for their relationship.)
Supposedly the only way to break a bond with someone you’ve placed a lock on the love lock bridge with is to dive into the Seine and find the key that unlocks your lock. An impossible task considering the amount of keys that must line the bottom of the river.
This particular bridge is meant for lovers, which might explain why there are so many locks on it, but there is also a love lock bridge reserved for those a bit more committed in their love – the Pont des Arts, near the Institut de France.
I know you’re going to ask…to which bridge did we add our lock?
The answer is neither. After eleven years together, I feel pretty confident we’ll be both lovers and committed to each other for a long, long time. Besides, if everything does go pear-shaped, I don’t want to have to jump in the Seine to find our key. I’m a dreadful swimmer.
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