Since the footbridge connecting Kraków’s Kazimierz district with Podgórze was opened two years ago, enamoured couples have been attaching padlocks to it, as a testament to their love.
But a similar demonstration of affection in Rome is being demolished by Italian authorities, prompting fears that Kraków’s ‘love bridge’ could soon suffer the same fate. A report by the BBC said that city chiefs in the Italian capital had ordered workers with bolt cutters to remove the symbols – on the Ponte Milvio across the Tiber river – under anti-vandalism laws.
The report suggests that the tradition of attaching padlocks to a bridge was inspired by a Federico Moccia novel, in which a bicycle lock is fixed to a lamp post and the key thrown into the Tiber. The BBC says that the gesture was meant to symbolise eternal love.
Whether Kraków city council will follow suit on the bridge, officially named Ojciec Laetus Kładka Bernatka, connecting ul. Mostowa and ul. Brodzińskiego, remains to be seen. But one KrakówPolska reader alerted the blog to the danger under the simple heading ‘Kraków next?’
- Padlocks removed from Ponte Milvio bridge (telegraph.co.uk)
- Rome bans lovers’ padlocks to safeguard ancient bridge (guardian.co.uk)