"Place, with a trace of humanity" Photography/Photo of the Day/Pittsburgh

Paris in Pittsburgh

Sunday afternoon, Steve and I were walking across the Schenley Bridge on our way to the Carnegie Library in Oakland.  We saw lots of shiny things reflecting the sun.   As we got closer,  I saw combination and key padlocks.

Not sure when these locks started showing up on Pittsburgh Bridges but this was the first time I’ve seen them.

Love Padlocks or Lovelocks, they’re called.

They signify “everlasting love” according to the entry at Wikipedia.   And they aren’t just in Paris.  There is a whole list of cities – Prague, Rome, Zurich, London, Moscow, Dublin, Sydney.   The padlocks are controversial as some deem them unsightly and akin to litter. Eyesores.  Too much weight on some bridges.

Other citizens are outraged when they’re cut off from public bridges around the world.  Not sure what the stance  is here in Pittsburgh-these additions to the Schenley Bridge over Panther Hollow.  Guess time will tell.

We were able to see names or initials inscribed on them, dates. Most of the  padlocks hung from one section of fencing.

Just now I read that the padlock keys are thrown under the bridge.

I remembered seeing a photo of a ton of padlocks on a Parisian bridge in a Weekly Photo Challenge from WordPress: LOVE (click to see photo of Paris Bridge)

and if you want to read the list of locations around the world and see more photos of love locks, click here.

Padlocks on Pittsburgh Bridge

If you look at bridges around the world sporting Love Padlocks, Pittsburgh is going to have to go some to catch up!


Do you think a sword was pulled from this stone?

Do you think a sword was pulled from this stone?

26 responses

  1. I think they look like art.. I’ll see if I see any in Italy when we go. I wonder if anyone’s heartbroken visiting and seeing their lover has removed the padlock? xx


    April 21, 2013 at 11:30 pm

  2. I have friends who took pictures in Europe at the bridges. At the time, I did not know what they meant.


    April 21, 2013 at 11:52 pm

  3. Erin Beverly

    How neat! Raf has a colleague who recently got engaged in Germany- and her now fiance put a lock on a bridge there as part of the proposal! Raf was just telling me about it recently…what an interesting coincidence that you would include a post about this very same thing. Great pictures. Thanks!


    April 22, 2013 at 12:08 am

  4. Starting small, Ruth. They’ll get there. Lovers of the world, unite! 🙂


    April 22, 2013 at 3:15 am

  5. Had no idea there were so many such bridges 🙂


    April 22, 2013 at 5:10 am

  6. Gail

    A twist on carving initials … Trees probably prefer locks.


    April 22, 2013 at 5:43 am

  7. Sue Reinfeld

    I like that people can leave their mark without marring the bridge.


    April 22, 2013 at 5:55 am

  8. Wonderful post. I didn’t know this existed here. I had seen posts of this on other blogs, I am glad Pittsburgh is now included. A must see. Thanks for pointing it out.



    April 22, 2013 at 6:51 am

  9. A sword was definitely drawn from that block of cement ( oh Arthur what have we come to ?…) and the non poetical minds will always find fault with human whimsy… let them walk their dry paths while we skip to the other drummer.


    April 22, 2013 at 7:24 am

  10. nice, that the ritual has reached Pittsburgh now too!
    greetings by


    April 22, 2013 at 8:50 am

  11. so nice 🙂
    I have a keylock with my love at pont des arts in paris ❤



    April 22, 2013 at 10:22 am

  12. Sally

    I’ve never heard of the padlock/love thing on bridges anywhere — glad you took a photo to share. I learn something every day from you Ruth! No, there are no padlocks on any of the three bridges going from Indiana into Kentucky.


    April 22, 2013 at 11:17 am

    • Madalon Amenta

      Or from Indiana into Illinois…It must be something about Indiana!


      April 23, 2013 at 9:42 pm

  13. At least some of these are pretty colours. I cannot understand how a padlock symbolises love. Any man who gave me a padlock to show how much he loved me would not see me again for dust! I have been sad to see ugly padlocks hanging from the beautiful Millennium Bridge in London.


    April 22, 2013 at 1:30 pm

  14. Tanja

    I like these colors…It reminded me of the town in Hungary, Pecs. People call it the city of locked love . You can see that on the fence behind the church of St. Peter filled with padlocks of all types of printed names of lovers as a sign of unbreakable love. It’s interesting how something simple like this, becomes very artistic.


    April 22, 2013 at 4:18 pm

  15. I enjoy your photography and when I received this award I took the opportunity to share your blog with my readers: http://collinesblog.wordpress.com/2013/04/22/the-epically-awesome-award-of-epic-awesomeness/


    April 22, 2013 at 4:44 pm

  16. A great photo of something I’ve not yet seen. Then again, I’ve been staying pretty close to home and apparently my cyclone fencing isn’t good enough for the Love Locks people. 🙂


    April 22, 2013 at 11:13 pm

  17. Amy

    Love learning new things from your blog Ruth! Thanks for sharing!


    April 23, 2013 at 8:02 am

  18. Toni

    Drove over the bridge going to The Cathedral on Sunday morning, and never noticed the locks! I will pay attention next time.


    April 23, 2013 at 9:50 am

  19. I think this tradition is precious and I love the meaning behind it. It is a bonus for us photographers too huh? Thanks for sharing this.


    April 23, 2013 at 12:39 pm

  20. Madalon Amenta

    Thanks, Ruthie, for traveling with your eyes and camera all over Pittsburgh showing the rest of us who drive by things every day what’s THERE!


    April 23, 2013 at 9:39 pm

  21. My husband has seen this in Europe in several places. He thinks it awful because even if you toss the key away, locks can be broken. I told him he’s looking at it as an engineer (which he is) and that he needs to look at it the way I do – as a romantic!


    April 24, 2013 at 2:48 pm

  22. How strange! I’ve never heard of (or seen!) such a thing…. You taught me something new today. Thank you for that!


    April 27, 2013 at 4:44 pm

  23. Pingback: Day 383 | Three Daily Delights

  24. Just great fun pictures and I’m bringing a lock the next time!!


    May 9, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Always good to hear from you.....

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