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17 Photos of Cologne's Love Locks Bridge That Prove Love is Alive

Padlocks on Hohenzollern bridge in Cologne | © maaddin / Flickr
Padlocks on Hohenzollern bridge in Cologne | © maaddin / Flickr
In the summer of 2008, padlocks engraved with initials and decorated with stickers and ribbons started to appear on the railings of Cologne’s Hohenzollern Bridge. Couples would fix their love lock, meant to symbolise everlasting and unbreakable love, to the bridge and throw the key into the tumbling river below them.

Nine years later, around 300,000 padlocks have been added, creating a colourful wall stretching across the entire length of the 400-metre (1,312-foot) bridge.

Deutsche Bahn officials initially feared that the added weight would create safety issues, and considered removing the padlocks. As 1,200 heavy trains cross the bridge every day, fans of the romantic gesture protested, and the train company quickly vouched not to take the locks down after all.

The padlocks have become an integral part of the cityscape, and removing them now seems unthinkable. The bridge is one the city’s most romantic spots, with locals, tourists and even the odd celebrity flocking to Cologne to lock their love eternally. Love wins!

Christop Sammer / Flickr
Engraved padlock in Cologne © Christoph Sammer / Flickr
A couple on love lock bridge © Grassmemo / Shutterstock
Thousands of couples have fixed padlocks to the railings on Hohenzollern bridge
Engraved padlock on love lock bridge in Cologne © Bjoern Wylezich / Shutterstock
Love locks on Cologne's Hohenzollern bridge © Bjoern Wylezich / Shutterstock
Love locks come in all colours, shapes and sizes  © Curioso / Shutterstock
A couple fixes their love love lock to the railings on Hohenzollern bridge © isarescheewin / Shutterstock
Love locks symbolise everlasting love  © NataliaMilko / Shutterstoc
View of Cologne cathedral from love lock bridge © Andrew Bone / Flickr
Love locks are often engraved or decorated with stickers and ribbons © sunique / Shutterstock
Some love locks stand out from the crowd  © Iryna Savina / Shutterstock
The love locks have become a popular tourist attraction  © Iryna Savina / Shutterstock
Lovers marks on the bridge © Ms Jane Campbell/Shutterstock
Thousands of locks that line the bridge © Oleg Proskurin/Shutterstock
"I love you" © r.classen/Shutterstock
A young couple watches the sun set over Cologne Cathedral  © Prasit Rodphan / Shutterstock

To visit Love Locks Bridge, either take the U-Bahn lines 5, 16 and 18 and get off at Dom Hauptbahnhof, or lines 1 and 9 to Deutz Bahnhof.