Czech Republic, Europe, Prague

Good or Bad? Love Locks in Prague

September 29, 2015
Prague Love Locks Čertovka Bridge- People Looking at Locks

Good or Bad? Love Locks in Prague. Visiting Prague this summer, I was eager to finally see the street art and graffiti-laden John Lennon Wall for myself. On my way to take a look, I walked over the Čertovka pedestrian bridge and noticed a bunch of love locks placed along the bridge railings.

Love Locks in Prague

I initially thought “How sweet! It’s just like that time I stumbled across love locks in Budapest.” One of my readers even used that post as a guide to find the exact location so that she and her partner could leave a lock there for themselves.

Prague Love Locks Čertovka Bridge- People Looking at Locks

At first glance, the love locks in Prague appear innocent enough, and the thoughts behind the practice are certainly well intended.

Couples usually place a lock inscribed with their names on a bridge/monument/fence, lock it, and throw away the key. All of this is done in the name of “everlasting love.”

Prague Love Locks Čertovka Bridge - Grill

It’s said to be inspired by the 2006 best-selling Italian novel, I Want You, when a couple place a love lock on a bridge in Rome. Since then, love locks have shown up around the world, most notably at the Pont des Arts in Paris.

Prague Love Locks Čertovka Bridge- Looking Down the River
Prague Love Locks Čertovka Bridge - Locks by the River

While there are those who detest how the love locks look and feel they are an eyesore, I’m definitely not one of them. I think love locks are a lovely expression of art, which adds to the character of a city.

However, locals don’t like the Prague love locks trend so loved by tourists and wish their bridges were left alone. As much as we may all “love the love,” one should respect the wishes of locals. Some people have even gone so far as to place love locks on the historic Charles Bridge. There is now an active organization that regularly removes the locks from this location.

Unfortunately, love locks are also dangerous for historical monuments and even the environment. The cumulative weight of these locks can actually cause long-term structural damage, as it did in Paris when parts of the bridge’s railing collapsed under pressure. Just last June, the city took steps to ban love locks altogether from the Pont des Arts. People also irresponsibly throw keys into rivers, causing issues for marine life.

Prague Love Locks Čertovka Bridge - Kathryn and Shalg

Prague Love Locks Čertovka Bridge - Ribbon

As touching or romantic as the idea of love locks may seem to be, you really need to think it through before you do it, being careful to consider the potential harm it could cause. In cities like Rome, you can actually be fined for such an act!

Good to Know

  1. Contact the local tourism board of the place you’re visiting and find out if there are locations where you’re allowed to place locks and whether or not it’s safe.
  2. No matter what, don’t ever throw your key into a river or lake.
  3. Respect the wishes of Prague locals, and don’t leave love locks on Čertovka pedestrian bridge or Charles Bridge.
  4. Looking for more inspiration about what to do in Prague?

Location

John Lennon Wall
Velkopřevorské náměstí, 100 00 Praha 1, Czech Republic

NoteThe Čertovka pedestrian bridge is located directly beside the John Lennon Wall. 

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Prague Love Locks

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3 Comments

  • Reply Nancie September 29, 2015 at 6:26 AM

    I have some fantastic photos of the love locks in Prague that I took when I was there a few years ago. As lovely as they are, the thought did cross my mind…is this getting out of control? As pretty as the locks might be, I don’t blame the locals for not wanting them on their historical bridges, for safety and other reasons. Maybe people can start a new trend… (biodegradable) love ribbons. They wouldn’t damage the structures, and would last long enough for lovers to make their statement. Just a thought 🙂

    • Reply Cheryl Howard September 29, 2015 at 8:07 AM

      Hey Nancie,

      The love locks are definitely photo worthy but I think it is getting out of control. A new trend would be nice! There have been attempts like some cities to campaign alternatives, namely Paris, but none have been successful to date.

      Hope you’re well!

      Cheryl

  • Reply Happy weekend links | Dejlige Days October 3, 2015 at 1:15 PM

    […] Interesting take on love locks here. […]

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