For several years now, love locks have been considered one of Cologne’s most charming traditions. As proof of their love, couples fix padlocks to the railings on the Hohenzollern Bridge; to ensure everlasting love, they then throw the key into the Rhein river below.
It is thought that the romantic custom originated in Italy. Over time, tens of thousands of couples and friends in Cologne have sworn their loyalty to one another in this way. Along with padlocks in all colours and shapes, there are also combination padlocks and bicycle chains on the bridge. Many of them have been elaborately designed; often engraved, painted, adorned, or decorated with home-made stickers.
Experts estimate that the padlocks weigh over two tonnes. And more padlocks appear on a daily basis, as not just the residents of Cologne, but also tourists want to become part of the tradition. Directions:
U-Bahn (subway) lines 5, 16 and 18 – stop “Dom Hauptbahnhof“/”Cologne Main Station” (west of the Rhein)
U-Bahn (subway) lines 3 and 4 – stop “Deutz-Lanxess-Arena“ (east of the Rhein)
U-Bahn (subway) lines 1 and 9 – stop “Deutz Bahnhof“ (east of the Rhein)