The Love Bridge of Paris


The Pont de l’Archevêché spans the Seine just behind Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, but few call it by its proper name.

It’s colloquially known as “The Love Bridge” because its chain-link sides have been festooned with hundreds of padlocks, symbolizing couples’ enduring passion. These love-locks have been engraved with initials, names and/or dates, and sometimes flourished with keepsakes and ribbons.

Many lovers take this business seriously, clamping with intent and throwing their lock-keys in the river; some less romantic souls, though, have used combination locks, hedging their bets that some other love might come along.

The nearby Pont des Arts used to have its own collection of lovers’ locks, but City Hall did away with them one night in 2010. The same fate may someday face the locks of l’Archevêché, but for now, feel free to pack your own lock on your next trip to Paris.

Who knows? It might provide the perfect excuse to come back every year and see if  your lock’s still there.



  1. Andrea Travis says:

    Bonjour! I’m in Paris now and wish I had packed a padlock! I think I’m going to stop at the Monoprix and pick one up. Xoxo

  2. Hooray — you guys made it! I can’t help but think of you and smile each time I’m in Paris. 🙂

    I hope you do add a lock to the bridge, because I think it’s wonderfully Parisian way to express your love! xoxo

  3. As a resident of Paris, I beg you NOT to contribute to this recent and now out of control “tradition”. Aside from the aesthetic damage that a hunk of cheap metal inflicts on a beautiful piece of art like a Paris bridge, the locks are damaging the bridges. The bridges that are easiest to attach a lock to are also the most delicate and fragile. The two most heavily damaged bridges are getting worse every day. The city can’t perform their scheduled maintenance and painting so the metal lattice works are being destroyed. these are some of the most beautiful bridges in the world. Please reconsider defacing them with a hunk of cheap metal.

  4. Laurant, thank you for presenting another side of this issue. I certainly hadn’t considered the damage inflicted by these locks, and can imagine I’m far from alone. I promise you that I personally will not attach a lock to any Parisian bridges, and will instead leave your comment here for readers to see — and better decide for themselves.

  5. Karhea345 says:

    Where exactly Is this lovely bridge located at?????

  6. It’s just behind Notre-Dame Cathedral — stroll out of the back garden, turn right, and there it will be. 🙂

  7. Liz & I, just began a new tradition in the US. The place is in Las Vegas, next to the Eifel Tower. Not on a bridge, but on some lattice steel work along the walk way. S.E. 7/3/2013. It is a fine looking heart shaped lock, made of gold.

  8. hi, me and my husband are going to paris next week, could anyone help me with the nearest tube to the love lock bridge. i know its near the cathedral..
    Thanks Shauna

  9. Shauna, the closest Metro stop to the Love Locks Bridge is Maubert–Mutualité on line 10. Have a wonderful time in Paris!

  10. avenuefoch says: Some of Europe’s most beautiful bridges are being destroyed by rusting clumps of metal, so I’m delighted to hear that Paris is clamping down on this daft trend. Love locks are the shallowest, stupidest, phoniest expression of love ever – time to put a stop to it !

  11. I wanted to know if it it true or false that the locks were taken down off the bridge of love???

  12. Sadly, they were in fact taken down — though locals are probably not as disappointed as I am.


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