I have randomly mentioned and posted pictures of Pont des Arts before, but I think it deserves its own post. It is absolutely one of my favorite sights in Paris — a lovely view of the Seine, the Left Bank, the Louvre and a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. I just love crossing this pedestrian wooden bridge, looking at the padlocks and reading their engravings. Often, you’ll also find street artists, photographers and painters on the bridge (just ignore the gypsies who pretend to be mute, trying to get you to sign something). And in the evening, candlelight picnics! Yes, you read that right.
But what’s the reason behind the padlocks? In recent years, couples started attaching padlocks to the railing of the bridge and then throwing the key into the Seine as a romantic gesture. It’s supposed to signify their everlasting love for each other. Though padlocks on bridges seem to be a phenomenon in many places in Europe, I’ve never seen so much variety (and number of) padlocks as at Pont des Arts.
One day, during my usual routine of crossing the bridge, I spotted this gentleman, all by himself, attaching a padlock. I was curious so I observed him. After forever sealing his love for something, he took several pictures and moved on. I headed over to the padlock, which read: “Mommy, Daddy” and a name I don’t recall. My only guess was his family, who couldn’t be with him, asked him to do this gesture. Ah, how endearing! It really touched me.
Anyway, due to the high turnover of padlocks being attached, you’ll see once every few weeks brand new sections of the bridge’s railing. Mmm … sometimes I wonder what becomes of the old padlocks and how the river bed below Pont des Arts looks like.
Until my next post … take care!