Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Paris, city of love


Paris is such a beautiful, romantic city. Who could be surprised to see couples everywhere walking hand in hand, snuggling next to the Seine or cuddling on a bench.

Even so, I was surprised to find the same custom here that we discovered this summer in Russia and Ukraine. We called them "locks of love." It is the custom of locking a padlock on a favorite or special bridge with lovers' names written or inscribed on the lock. (Click here to see the Moscow "locks of love" post.)

IMG_9080According to Wikipedia:  Love padlocks have existed for quite some time, though there are no certain sources for their origin. In Europe, love padlocks started appearing in the early 2000s. The reasons love padlocks started to appear vary between locations, and in many instances are unsourced. An attribution for the bridge Most Ljubavi (lit. the Bridge of Love—now named after the love padlocks) in Serbia exists, where they can be traced to even before World War I.

Whether the locks affirm or protect the hearts of lovers, it seemed fitting to find them here in a city with so much beauty.

There is a something about Paris that forces you to slow down and take time to appreciate what is around you. The river is there to be walked, there are outdoor cafes everywhere that beckon you to sit and relax and enjoy the company of friends. The city somehow seems to be centered around relationships...maybe that's why it has come to be known as the "city of love."

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