The Telegraph
Wednesday , May 28 , 2014
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Locks for love in Cologne

During my recent visit to Cologne (Koln), Germany, I discovered the museum of love padlocks on display on the Hohenzollernbrückebridge right in front of the famous Cologne Cathedral (Kolner Dom).

The 40,000 padlocks, each inscribed and decorated with names, hung by 80,000 individuals publicly honouring their love, gives you a sense of awe and wonder. I was told that the padlocks have added over two tonnes of weight to the bridge, causing local officials to question how long the practice can be sustained.

And to symbolise the everlasting nature of their love, the keys are dropped over the edge, tumbling far below into the eternal waters of River Rhine. This is a trend that seems to be catching on the world over — similar bridgescapes can now be Edinburgh, Paris, London and Leeds, though not in India. Long live their love for eternity.

Cologne Cathedral (Kolner Dom) built in 1248 is a renowned monument of German Catholicism and is a world heritage Site, attracting an average of 20,000 people a day. It houses the reliquary of the Three Kings who visited Child Jesus from Asia. It is 144.5m (474ft) long, 86.5m (284ft) wide and its towers are approximately 157m (515ft) tall.