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.