No, it’s not about the Valentine’s Day commemorated in the whole world that we’re going to talk about. We take advantage of this day of celebration of love to mention the romantic attitude of leaving love padlocks in the fences of monuments and its resulting consequences.
The love padlocks originated from a Serbian love story dating back to the First World War period. A story of deep passion and dramatic separation that created a practice and local superstition related to padlocks and bridges.
However, the Italian writer Frederico Moccia was the main responsible for its disclosure. In his books, he talks about endless love, connected by padlocks in a certain bridge in Rome.
The film adaptation spread this romantic attitude and quickly, the practice of couples leaving padlocks with their names written in fences near rivers, to where its keys were thrown to, became viral. This practice was only popularised in the beginning of this century, but in a very short time and with such a dimension that it is already forbidden in several European cities.
This is not a policy against superstitious couples, but the truth is, the fences give in to weight, the padlocks rust, the rivers overflow with keys and the alluring curiosity turns into visual pollution.
In Lisbon, in the upper corridor of Santa Justa Lift, there are some padlocks, not because of its proximity to the river, but perhaps because there, you have a beautiful view over the historical centre. It’s curious and fun but please don’t put any more, to avoid losing the views and forcing radical interventions.
After all, it is a heritage that must be respected so that it continues to amaze us, as well as providing us with love, a love that must remain free if we want it to be true and gratifying.
Happy Valentine’s Day!