When I (Em) was in Paris a few months ago, I couldn’t figure out why the bridge behind Notre Dame was covered in thousands of tiny padlocks (plus a few bike locks). They weren’t there when Lo and I visited back in 2004. A quick bit of Googling (thanks to “wee-fee,” as the French call wifi) and I learned that they were “love locks” — a fairly recent tradition wherein couples celebrate their love (and, perhaps, hope to ensure its survival) by affixing a padlock to a romantic bridge and tossing the key into the river below. They might also attach a ribbon to the padlock, or simply adorn it with their initials. When I was there, enterprising young salespeople were selling new padlocks at each end of the bridge in case you were moved to do the same.
Sundance Channel Blog