Eastern Lovelock

Love padlocks are a trend in which lovers put their initials on a lock, affix it to a fence which in most cases is a bridge one, and throw away the key forever, usually into whatever water is below. The trend is spreading like crazy all over the world and while in Riga, Latvia they say there is almost no bridge without locks, in Novi Sad, Serbia engravers have been complaining about the amount of work with ENGRAVING PADLOCKS.

Some feel this is dead romantic, others feel it is desecration of architecture. Considering I heard padlocks were even spotted on the Great Wall, I can not but to agree with the latter. However, there is a way to do it differently, Pipilota Organization and Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb picked an otherwise pretty ugly fence (on the right side of the entrance to the museum), stuck a sign on it saying: LOVE LOCKS ZAGREB and they are calling people to come and put their locks on.


They picked the first day of spring (which was yesterday, if you haven’t noticed due to weather conditions) because spring means new life and new beginnings. They say love is universal and locks should not be limited to couples. They are planning to keep the padlocked fence as a permanent art installation.

Here is a collection of other love lock locations, some more, some less spontaneous:

Pécs, Hungary

There are many legends about the origin of the first padlocks on this fence. According to one, cheating wives would use the padlock to signal to their lover that the husband was away. A less controversial one says that students put their old locker padlocks there after they finished school marking with it the end of their education. Today it is mostly used by couples and affixing the padlock symbolizes their eternal love, as did the Spanish Crowne Prince Felipe and his wife, Princess Letizia when they visited Pécs in 2004.
Photo: Vikkvakk
Moscow, Russia
In Moscow authorities built special iron trees for this purpose. The first tree of love appeared on the Luzhkov bridge (a bridge leading to the Cathedral of Christ the Savior) in April 2007. Now there is a treeline both on the bridge and Bolotnaya river embankment. Traditionally couples lock the padlock to one of the trees and throw the key into the river, so it can never be unlocked again, this sealing their love. In Spring when wedding seasons starts it is common to see newlyweds taking their wows there.
Photo: A. Savin

Wroclaw, Poland

Tumski bridge, also called Lovers bridge, on river Odra.

Odessa, Ukraine

"Mother-in-law" bridge, close to the sea port in Odessa.
Photo: Begemot

Prague, Czech Republic

Small pedestrian bridge in Mala Strana district.

Vrnjačka Banja, Serbia

The Bridge of Love padlocks can be dated back to before WWII. Legend says a local lady fell in love with a Serbian officer who went to war in Greece where he fell in love with another woman and broke off the engagement. Young girls from Vrnjačka Banja wanted to protect their love by writing down their names on padlocks and affixing them to the railings of the bridge where the unfortunate couple used to meet.

Photo: Aca Srbin

Riga, Latvia

Latvian tradition on your wedding day is to cross seven bridges and put a lock on one, with your names engraved. Almost every bridge in Latvia has locks on it. Most popular is the Wedding Lock Bridge in Bastion Hill Park.

Kiev, Ukraine

The Bridge of Love is a pedestrian bridge located near the northern end of Mariinskiy Park.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

The Butchers bridge - footbridge crossing river Ljubljanica and leading to the Ljubljana Central Market.

Have you or someone you know ever done this? Seen it in a place not mentioned here? Do leave a comment, we’d love to know!

About the author

Petra Tkalcec

Petra is a Co-founder and Executive Editor of EastOK Europe. She is a Croatian living in Budapest with her Serbian husband, two sons and an English bulldog.


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