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!
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.