Exploring Paris is not as much about visiting the Louvre or climbing to the top of the Eiffel Tower but more about discovering the little details that make Paris the coveted vacation spot for travelers around the world. Instead of checking 'a trip to Paris' off you bucket list, you are more likely to come back either wanting to move there or with a notebook full of little things you loved about Paris with plans to return.
Paris is often affectionately known as 'the city of love'. On our way to Notre Dame we crossed the Pont des Arts bridge and discovered the love locks that adorn it's railing! I guess these locks were especially interesting to me because some twenty years earlier, my husband and I visited Paris on our honeymoon. It was not until I came home and googled it, that I discovered the meaning of the locks and their recent headlines in the news. It seems that on May 12, 2010 , under the cover of darkness, the Paris authorities came and removed the locks because they felt the locks were damaging the ancient architecture of the bridge. What I find most interesting is that even the authorities could not bring themselves to remove all of them. In fact, they left a scattering of the oldest and most charming locks for all to see!
From Reuters "In the romantic Latin Quarter of Paris, in the shadow of the Cathedral of Notre Dame, is the Pont des Arts bridge. For years, lovestruck couples have traveled this spot to undertake one of the most romantic vandalism activities imaginable. To ensure enduring love, couples attach a padlock to the rail of the bridge, lock it, carve their initials or a little note into the lock, then pitch the keys into the Seine River. No more, says Parisian officials, who undertook a midnight mission to cull the locks from the bridge under cover of darkness."
Evidently, I am not the only one who found the bridge and it's 'love locks' interesting. I came across this still from the recent filming of Gossip Girl in Paris on one of my favorite blogs Habitually Chic, they are standing on the Pont des Arts bridge.