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Postcard From Cologne

Locks for love.

Cologne isn't famous for its romantic cafes or moonlit streets. But love locks are all the rage. Couples have begun hanging locks engraved with special messages on the pedestrian footpath on a bridge that leads across the Rhine. So far, 300 have been placed there.

One woman, whose boyfriend lives three hours away, said:

"I come here two or three times a week to clean the lock," she says. "Because of the rain and the weather on this bridge, it gets a little dirty, so I clean it up." She is not the only one drawn to the bridge because of a padlock. The tokens have also become an attraction for tourists, who stop to take a closer look at the messages inscribed on them.

The German railway company Deutsche Bahn (responsible for the bridge) threatened to have the locks sawed off. But the outcry was so loud that the company underwent change of heart.

Photo by Eoghan Oliannain. Submit your pictures to


About the Author

  • Amanda Erickson is a former senior associate editor at CityLab.