My wife and I just returned from our annual trip to Europe to visit Christmas Markets. Our first stop was Cologne, Germany. In researching Cologne several months ago I read about the Hohenzollern Railway Bridge, which crosses the Rhine into central Cologne. The bridge has gained a new romantic image, since couples began placing locks on the fence separating the railroad and the pedestrian walkway over the Rhine. I've seen several bridges around the world where this is done, including Spain, Estonia, Paris, and even the Great Wall of China, but nowhere in the volume of the Hohenzollernbrucke. Since our stay in Cologne was on our 45th Wedding Anniversary, I thought I would surprise my wife with this addition to our itinerary. She was both surprised and eager to take part in the tradition. So, we found a lockshop, picked out a lock and had it engraved with our names and "45 Years". We walked to the bridge, and were absoluted stunned at the number of locks of every sort, size and shape. The number has to be in the tens of thousands. A definite testament to love. We even had a difficult time finding a recognizable place for the lock. Finally, we completed the tradition by locking it, and tossing one of the two keys into the Rhine. If you are going to Cologne, don't miss seeing this.
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Love Padlocks (also known as Love Locks) are a custom by which padlocks are affixed to the bridge/fence as a way to symbolize everlasting love....The keys to the lock are symbolically thrown into the rushing water below so the lock cannot be opened again.