To hang or not to hang: can “locks of love” harm bridges

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Probably, in every city in Russia and European countries, you can find a bridge hung with padlocks of all sizes and shapes as a sign of love and loyalty to the newlyweds. Metal locks come in a variety of colors and are usually engraved with the initials of lovers, as well as a memorable wedding date. Such a romantic tradition of “locks of love” has existed not as long as it might seem. They actively began to “fasten” their feelings on the bridge only at the end of the 20th century. The ritual also continues to be quite popular among the residents of the Pskov region. But is this tradition so harmless?

Couples in love began using locks as a symbol of loyalty in Florence, inspired by romance novels where the name of the sculptor Benvenuto Cellini was mentioned. Young men and women hung locks on the monument to the sculptor on the oldest bridge in the city, and then threw the keys into the river. Also, locks were chained in Rome to a pillar on an antique bridge, but the pillar collapsed in 2007 due to the abundance of metal products. The European tradition was adopted in our country as well.

Troitsky bridge. Photo: Vadim Bochenkov

Immediately after a large-scale reconstruction of the unique chain bridges in the Island, the newlyweds immediately got into the habit of hanging locks on them. Although it’s not a secret for anyone that it was for these purposes in the city that special three metal “trees of love” were installed in Victory Park and the Lovers’ Bench. The Ostrovichi ignored the recommendations for wedding rituals and continued to hang the symbols of a strong marriage union on the lattice of the observation deck in the park and on bridges.

Of course, few people think that such a non-standard use of chain bridges can damage the structure and make it heavier, which can negatively affect the safety of the object. Meanwhile, the Ostrovsky suspension bridges are a unique architectural monument that has been preserved since the middle of the 19th century.

Pskovites are not stopped by the fact that the abundance of castles on bridges and trellises can spoil the aesthetics of the city.

If we talk about the requirements for the protection of cultural heritage objects, then their weight should be unchanged. As he told the correspondent of “MK in Pskov” Chairman of the Committee for the Protection of Cultural Heritage Sites of the Pskov Region Vadim Nedik, on the part of the security authorities, such a tradition in relation to chain bridges is not welcomed.

“Any intrusion into the subject of protection is allowed only on the basis of a developed project in the presence of a state historical and cultural expertise. I think that with regard to monuments, citizens can refrain from these events and preserve our outstanding value, which has no analogues in the Russian Federation. “– he said.

Chain bridges as a cultural monument unconditionally requires a careful attitude towards itself. And although this may be negatively perceived by the townspeople, it is still inappropriate to hang out “locks of love”. And from the point of view of aesthetics, such traditions significantly spoil the appearance of not only the monument itself, but also the city as a whole.

Some couples stick loose stickers instead of locks.

In Pskov, there are two favorite places for the newlyweds to hang the lock – the bridge in the Finnish Park and the lattice of the observation deck near the Olginskaya chapel. However, the people of Pskov are not stopped by the fact that there is a decorative bridge on the embankment of the Velikaya River, which, in fact, is intended for such purposes. Pskov Svetlana said that she and her husband decided to observe the traditions just at the special bridge. “From the very beginning of all wedding events I knew that I would definitely not hang the castle at the Olginskaya chapel. After all, this is a holy place, and I don’t want to spoil its appearance at all. “, – she shared.

Other local resident, Ksenia, negatively refers to such a tradition, calling it “relics of the past.” “When we got married, we didn’t follow any traditions at all. They did not hang locks, did not take pictures at the monuments, spent the night together before the wedding. But if people like this kind of traditionalism, then why not. Although I have not noticed such a tradition at any weddings of my acquaintances for a long time ”, – said the girl.

Olginskaya chapel in Pskov traditionally remains a place of attraction for newlyweds.

Of course, there should be wedding traditions, only they are good when they do not spoil city objects. It remains to be hoped that the number of conscious people will only increase over time.