There is a very unassuming, rather ugly metal bridge in Regensburg that spans the Donau. It's an ugly green metal bridge, with griding to keep people from falling into the water below.
But when you get on the bridge, you will see it is lined with padlocks.
Looking closer at the locks, they are inscribed with messages of love.
These are "locks of love". The lovers have their names inscribed onto a lock (although I saw some done with sharpie) and then lock the lock onto the bridge. They kiss and throw the key into the water below, signifying they're locked in love forever.
It is believe this tradition began in Russia, where newlyweds would tie cotton ribbons onto bridges. I even saw some locks with bits of ribbon (cotton?) tied on the lock.
Regensburg is not unique in preserving this custom. These love locks can be seen around the world. In fact, some cities are even having problems with them damaging structures and are removing / threatening to remove them.
If you are wanting to know more, or just wondering where I got my info, check out these two sites:
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