Walking through Bamberg on one fine autumn day, I saw signs over shops for Liebeschlösser. All different kinds of shops. I didn’t know what to think of this term until we crossed the Kettenbrücke and saw:
OH! Love Locks—hanging from the steel cables. I get it. Kay said she saw something like this in Paris, too. The custom of fixing a padlock to a bridge (or a lamppost, like in Rome or a tree, like in Moscow) by two lovers and then ceremoniously throwing the key over the side can be traced back to that lamppost in Rome. Graduating students from Florence would fix the lock from their locker to a lamppost on the Milvian Bridge, a bridge over the river Tiber. The custom was made even more popular by lovers in the book I Want You by Italian author Federico Moccia.
The number of Love Locks on the Bamberger Kettenbrücke today is 566. They even have their own website! http://www.liebesschlösser-bamberg.de/ And, of course, the city is threatening to cut them all off. It seems the galvanized nickel from the locks chemically reacts with the steel cables of the bridge and speeds-up the rusting process. What a shame. Experts say that at 25€ the meter, the city could easily replace the steel cables every 15 years, or not?