Padlocks that symbolise love – the keys are thrown in the river.
For a few years now, lovers have fastened padlocks to the railings of the Isabel II Bridge and thrown the keys into the Guadalquivir river to symbolize their love. The bridge connects mainstream Seville with its wilder, more romantic district of Triana, and a stroll across reveals golden sparks thanks to the reflection of the strong Andalusian sun.
Apparently a cluster of ERASMUS students from Italy imported the tradition, based on the same practice at the Milvio Bridge in Rome. That in turn was inspired by the film “Ho voglia di Te” (I want you) directed by Luis Pietro. The film was based on a book by Federico Moccia. Phew! True love does travel.
But, as someone who didn’t even have a facebook or twitter account, once said, “the course of true love never did run smooth.” In this case, Seville’s authorities wage war against these amorous practices by periodically removing them. Their argument, which sounds miserably sensible, is that eventually the weight of all that interlocking metal causes structural damage to the bridge.
So they set at them with angle grinders, causing different sorts of sparks to fly.
For an interesting update on this love tradition, read this post on love traditions in Paris.
Abigail King is a writer and photographer who swapped a career as a doctor for a life on the road. Now published by Lonely Planet, the BBC, CNN, National Geographic Traveler & more, she feels most at home experimenting here: covering unusual journeys, thoughtful travel and luxury on www.insidethetravellab.com