This Article was written by Zanelle Awinyo, Year 9
We've all seen bridges around the world decorated in locks and tokens, engraved in messages or carved initials... But what is it all about?
The city of Paris didn’t always have bridges crossing the seine river. In fact, it only began in 864AD when King Charles the bald set in motion the Edict of Pîtres, in response to the sack of Paris by Vikings in 845AD. Since then, many private investors built bridges across the Seine- the Pont des Arts being one of them.
While it’s definitely the most famous love lock bridge, it wasn't actually the first. In fact, the tradition didn't even start in France. Ponte Milvio, a bridge in Rome, is where it all began.
The exact origins of the Italian tradition are unknown, however the love lock bridge has been adapted in multiple places all over the world, including Dubai.
The love lock tradition is supposed to signify a promise of love, be it friendship or romantic. People lock a padlock on the bridge and toss the key into the river to show there's no backing out.
Tens of thousands of padlocks are put there by people wanting to symbolise their everlasting bond. A bond that will no doubt hold them together for eternity, showing the strength of their love.
What about Candy Hearts?
Candy hearts date back to the days of the American Civil War- although back then they were referred to as ‘cockles’. Daniel Chase, whose brother Oliver founded the famous candy heart making company NECCO, came up with the idea of printing catchy sayings right on the candy.
In 1866, NECCO started churning out miniature candy hearts, which were then called “motto hearts.” Even today these candies are still used; with different words such as ‘text me’ or ‘dm me’... Modern romance at its finest!