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Love Locks, Prague

Love Locks Prague

A symbol of love throughout Europe, Prague is no exception with the love locks along the canal near the Charles Bridge in Prague’s Mala Strana.

The origins of love locks have been attributed to the Italian writer Federico Moccia’s cult novel “I Need You”, written in 2006, however other sources, including Wikipedia, suggest the origins can be traced further back to China.  Regardless of the origins, love lock walls have turned up all over Europe, extending as far beyond as Uruguay and Toronto, Canada.

The symbolism behind the locks – everlasting love.  Lovers fix their locks on fences or gates, often throwing away the key in a romantic gesture of their love, locked together through time.  Is this the ultimate act of “I love you”?  or perhaps, a romantic location for young couples to dream, declare their undying love and ask for hands in marriage?

Love lock walls have become controversial – with cities cracking down on the walls of locks, removing them, citing the locks an eyesore in what would be considered a picturesque point of town.  Concerns over bridges and overpasses becoming a destination for lovers who are “padlock happy”!  The Toronto Star recently published a story – Love Locks Endure – citing exactly that – the trend of declaring one’s love with a lock is enduring.  The Telegraph tells a similar story of cracking down – the question is – are they really an eyesore, or a vision of hope and love for couples around the world.  Is this the modern day version of star crossed lovers?  With Valentines just around the corner, will you be declaring your love eternal?

Lock locks, holding a superstitious nature to some, have become legendary in status (quoted from Wikipedia):

  • In Fengyuan, Taiwan love padlocks affixed to an overpass at the city’s train station are often affixed in pairs. These locks are known as “wish locks” and local legend holds that the magnetic field generated by trains passing underneath will cause energy to accumulate in the locks and fulfill the wishes.
  • On a fountain in Montevideo in Uruguay, a plaque is affixed to the front of the fountain that provides an explanation in both English and Spanish. The English version of the text reads, “The legend of this young fountain tells us that if a lock with the initials of two people in love is placed in it, they will return together to the fountain and their love will be forever locked.

Links Through the internet:  you can buy your own personalized engraved lock – Lock-itz or Love Locks UK.  I am sure there are many more sources – these were just a couple of the links I came across.

For an amazing photographic collection of Love Locks, click here.  Fotoeins Fotopress also has an impressive collection at Love Stories in Cologne.

Prague’s love lock wall is found overlooking the canal in the Mala Strana, near the Lennon Wall.

While visiting the Prague Love Locks, we stayed at The Golden Wheel Hotel, less than a 10 minute walk.

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About Anita Mac

The bucket list just keeps growing! The more I cross off - the more exciting new destinations and activities I find! I have been fortunate enough to travel a considerable distance over the years. My love of many things, including travel, cycling, kayaking and photography fit together like hand and glove. I have to keep asking myself....where to next? I am happy to share my travels and photography through my blogs: http://traveldestinationbucketlist.com and http://anitamacphotos.wordpress.com Hope you enjoy them as much as I do! On to the next adventure!

Discussion

73 thoughts on “Love Locks Prague

  1. Oh, I hope this doesn’t catch on in the U.S., just because we already have way too many tacky material-centered expressions of what are supposedly deep feelings. I prefer Locks of Love, the organization that takes donations of human hair for fashioning into wigs for cancer patients.

    Posted by scillagrace | January 29, 2012, 12:15 pm
  2. how cool! i’d love to see a wall of “love locks”… i’d say leave them. it’s a part of the culture…even if it did develop in later years. how neat to be able to see locks from years and years ago.

    Posted by thatgirlwhit | January 29, 2012, 12:25 pm
    • I know – isn’t it romantic!!! You could come back for an anniversary years later – provided the city doesn’t take it down first! The wall of love locks certainly appear to be a tourist pleaser – we were down pretty early in the morning on New Years Day and in a matter of minutes, there was a crowd! Would love to have had more time to quietly look at the locks.

      Posted by Anita Mac | January 29, 2012, 6:13 pm
  3. I saw this in Florence in Italy where the city authorities are not too keen on it and there are heafty fines if caught!

    Posted by Andrew Petcher | January 29, 2012, 1:02 pm
  4. Great timing, as I’m in the midst of writing a photo-essay post about the version in Köln (Cologne). :-) I forgot about the version in Praha, despite the fact that I’d gone past this wall a couple of times. Thanks for your post, Anita!

    Posted by fotoeins | January 29, 2012, 5:24 pm
  5. I recently saw the same thing on a bridge in Krakow, Poland. It was beautiful!

    Posted by Katy | January 29, 2012, 10:06 pm
  6. OH…. We kept seeing these all over Europe but didn’t know what they represented. Thanks for the clarification!

    Posted by laneslostbackpack | January 31, 2012, 4:39 pm
  7. Yeah, like Andrew I saw this in Florence as well. I really liked it. And it’s balls that the police fine for it!

    Posted by Dane Homenick | January 31, 2012, 8:35 pm
  8. We must have missed this love lock art display when we were in Prague!

    Posted by Jean | February 3, 2012, 12:30 am
  9. Wow. Thats pretty cool.I’d never heard of that before until I read your post on it!

    Posted by apoetsjournal | February 4, 2012, 11:24 am
  10. This remind me of those at N Seoul Tower

    Posted by LonelyTravelog | February 19, 2012, 2:03 am
  11. I think this is so sweet. Would love to see it in person! Great post!

    Posted by sayyestohappy | February 23, 2012, 6:03 pm
  12. We saw this during a springtime trip to Sevilla last year… it’s nice to know the history :)

    Posted by Tricia A. Mitchell | February 29, 2012, 12:08 pm
  13. Anita–thanks for this excellent explanation! I had seen these in Florence last year on the Ponte Vecchio and was wondering what it was all about. I’m going to post about it and direct people to your blog.

    Posted by Feng Shui By Fishgirl | March 6, 2012, 2:03 pm
  14. Thank you: it’s very kind of you to add a link to my post about the love locks in Cologne. I have added a link to your story as well. :-)

    Posted by fotoeins | May 19, 2012, 1:26 pm
  15. It seems to me if a city is concerned about ‘love locks’ showing up everywhere, they should provide a designated spot that is used solely for the purpose of adding locks. They could make it a focal point in a park and create a romantic environment and in the process create a tourist attraction. I think if I were a city planner, and I had this ‘problem’ to deal with, I would use the a-fore-mentioned solution, rather than fighting a public that obviously is wanting of a place and a way to express their love. Everybody wins! :) The should add a graffiti wall while they’re at it, for those who prefer to express their love in writing.

    This is an interesting post, Anita … I’d never heard of ‘love locks’ before.

    Posted by orples | May 30, 2012, 10:51 am
    • I agree – love locks are a huge tourist attraction – and a designated area may well be the solution. I have read of cities wanted to remove the locks as an eyesore or because they were not safe. In Prague, the location is not a busy area, yet the tourists pour in to see the locks…I hope to see more love lock sites in my travels – I just love the romantic notion and the expression of love and hope! Glad you enjoyed the post.

      Posted by Anita Mac | June 21, 2012, 11:22 pm
  16. My husband and I saw the love locks in Florence (2005). Your photos capture the “Prague” ones beautifully.

    Posted by Oster's Mom | June 21, 2012, 8:29 pm
    • I can only imagine how romantic it would be – a fabulous declaration of love in such a romantic city! Will have to search for them – I have yet to visit Florence – but it is high on the list of places to see!

      Posted by Anita Mac | June 21, 2012, 11:23 pm
  17. I have heard of the love locks and I beleive they are in China too… this was from the Amazing Race of all places! The locks are fixed to a chain along a mountain top for lovers. Cool idea and in the right place it wouldn’t be an eye sore.

    Posted by CanadianTravelBugs | July 14, 2012, 7:52 pm
    • That’s hilarious that you heard about them from the Amazing Race! Love that they are along a mountain top – somehow that seems to me like people have made a bigger effort, climbing the mountain to pledge their love! I love it!

      Posted by Anita Mac | July 14, 2012, 10:13 pm
      • Pulled from that page, before we got married, my honey and I had an “intent ceremony” on the front lawn with close family and friends as witnesses, We professed our love and devotion and chained a lock around the willow tree we planted a couple of years before.

        Posted by maryduranteyoutt | August 16, 2012, 7:33 am
      • That is so romantic, especially as it was around the tree that you actually planted. Beautiful story!

        Posted by Anita Mac | August 16, 2012, 3:46 pm
  18. There’s actually a bridge in Ljubljana with love locks. I didn’t know all about it, so thanks for sharing: )

    Posted by coolkidzcooltrips | August 22, 2012, 3:46 pm
  19. My partner and I will be leaving our lock in Prague in December! Can’t wait

    Posted by Shannon Kelly | September 5, 2012, 8:02 am
    • That is fantastic! Such a romantic act! I love it!

      Posted by Anita Mac | September 7, 2012, 11:53 am
    • Please don’t do it!

      It destroys the bridge and we have to pay for removing and renovation of the bridge several times a year. This money could go to better porpoise. I agree with the idea of having some special designated place for it as it’s sweet.

      Btw if you will be in Prague on December 5th come to Kampa around 4PM for St. Nicolas day we will be there with local police singing Christmas carols dressed as angels devils and St. Nicolas will be there as well.

      Posted by Kristyna from Prague | November 24, 2012, 9:45 pm
  20. these love locks as they call it..just prove how loving and sweet people living in that certain place…! it’s a good thing they have this kind of tradition…makes me fall in love over and over again…how different life turned out to be if i move there…

    Posted by marymae | October 4, 2012, 10:10 pm
  21. that is something different :)

    Posted by joshi daniel | November 12, 2012, 1:49 am
    • I agree! Have made a point of finding love locks in different cities when I travel. Have posted about Dubrovnik and their new love lock wall high above the coast. Have photos from Rome and Paris to add….I am sure most would agree…some of the most romantic cities in the world have the love locks.

      Posted by Anita Mac | November 26, 2012, 5:23 pm
  22. We have a place like this in Seoul where couples come to lock their love. I hope to find more of these around the world as I keep travelling. :)

    Posted by thatbackpacker | December 20, 2012, 10:19 am
    • I have yet to see the love locks in Seoul. The love locks are all over…. I was lucky to see them in Rome before they took the locks down. Dubrovnik is stunning – the locks are high above a cliff….I am with you – I hope to find more of them as I travel around the world. While they can be controversial…I still think they are romantic! Happy travels.

      Posted by Anita Mac | December 20, 2012, 10:28 am
  23. these love locks seem to be taking over the world…now if only love could do the same

    Posted by Jo Bryant | January 25, 2013, 2:47 pm
  24. Prague…my home town. Nicely done. :)

    Posted by Veronica Roth | January 25, 2013, 3:56 pm
  25. i love it!

    Posted by yi-ching lin | January 26, 2013, 9:27 am
  26. Thank you so much for visiting my blog and like it your blog as well

    Posted by rimassolosailingaroundtheworldm | February 5, 2013, 8:51 pm
  27. Love padlocks are really cool and I keep seeing them in more and more places. But I do wonder how long they last in one place – and if the couples are still together…

    Posted by Pola (Jetting Around) | March 22, 2013, 2:35 pm
  28. I’m heading to Prague at the end of the month. I’m all for love locks, but I never seem to bring one for us. Might remember to do it this time :-)

    Posted by planetlew | May 10, 2013, 9:25 am
  29. wow! I hadn’t heard about that! :(

    Posted by moweezle | August 15, 2013, 6:33 am

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