Their love may last forever, but their locks are no more. This week, the extreme weight forced Paris to remove an estimated 45 tons of padlocks attached to the famed Pont des Arts bridge, placed there by couples to symbolically secure their love everlasting by turning the key and throwing it in Seine below. While the tradition encapsulates the beauty we all imagine when thinking of the City of Love, picturing the structurally-compromised stone crumbling beneath the lovers’ feet certainly takes a bit of the romance out of the experience.
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But even after the last lock is clipped from the fence, the Pont des Arts can rest easy knowing there are dozens of other bridges in Paris that can continue to draw both locals and tourists in awe of their beauty and deep-rooted history—even several with love locks of their own, according to Michael Saint James, photographer and author of Bridges of Paris (Citron Bay Press, 2015). So, grab your lover, be glad you don’t own a lock shop next to the Pont des Arts and head to any one of these other inspiring Parisian bridges.