Padlocks are hardly beautiful objects and an unlikely candidate as a symbol of love and romance. These rather utilitarian objects are used for practical applications like securing text books and smelly gym clothes in your high school locker or safeguarding your checked-in luggage from would-be thieves at the airport.
Yet padlocks have actually become an international symbol for love and romance and accordingly you’ll find sites the world over in places like a pedestrian bridge in Paris, along a hiking trail in Cinque Terre and even a tower in Seoul. Appropriately dubbed “love locks“, you’ll find them on all sorts of public fixtures such as bridges, fences and gates. The locks are placed by couples who’ll write their names on them in order to publicly promise each other an everlasting, until death-do-us part crazy kind of love.
Call me a sucker for romance, but whenever I travel I seek these public monuments out on purpose. It’s heart warming to know that each and every lock represents two people’s love for one another.
I stumbled across this pile of love locks at a park while walking about Budapest. At first glance, it didn’t seem pretty.
Looking closer, you start to notice that some locks really are pretty such as this giant heart shaped one. Others have decorated their locks with hearts.
Others like this one may be more plain but not less meaningful.
While I could have easily walked past this little public “work-of-art“, I happily spent 15 minutes photographing it and pondering the stories of all the couples behind the locks.
Just who are Emi and Laci? How did they meet? How long have they been together?
Not everyone adores love locks. Some cities like Paris and Cologne attempted to dismantle the sites but ended up leaving them in place due to public backlash. During a time full of so much gloom and doom, it’s refreshing to see public support for these little displays as we could all use a little more “love sweet love” in our lives.
You’ll find this grand statement of love in Erzsébet Square on the Pest side of the city.