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Travel Bug Tuesday – Montmartre Love Lock

A lock with peoples initials engraved on it at the top of Montmartre overlooking Paris, France

Whilst bus loads of tourists come to climb the steps of the Sacré Coeur, there is another way up the hill to Montmartre. Winding through the cobbled streets thronged with people doing their Saturday shop you can envision the old Parisian lifestyle which other arrondissements left in favour of modernity.

Climbing up the steps, the back way not the stairs teeming with tourists, I marvelled at how the artisan lifestyle continues on today whether it be in galleries or the street art lining the walls; and finally as my calves began to cramp I reached the top of the stairs with my own personal view of Paris – at least in that minute I thought it was mine.

Firmly chained to the railing at the top of the stairs overlooking Paris was a lone padlock engraved with a couples initials. But why a lock? An Eastern European story tells of lovers who met on a bridge until one of them died. Girls in the region soon placed padlocks on the bridge to safe guard their love like the stories characters could not. It’s become a tradition in a number of areas of Europe, including on bridges over the Seine river in Paris, to lock a padlock onto a bridge with your lover and then throw your key into the river below.
But to me this place, high above the streets of Montmartre is better than shared on a bridge with thousands of other locks. Here the lovers could be alone and catch moments of quiet together and bath themselves in the cities lights; Because hundreds of people would pass them everyday but they would remain hidden to all but a few who notice them locked firmly on the railing.

Whilst in that minute I shared their spot I knew I didn’t dwell there long because it was their spot where their love belonged and I was just a spectator.

Paris really is full of cliques, but the city of love it is.

J + D

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    Love Locks - Bridge in Cologne with Locks | The Great Affair
    February 15, 2012 at 1:38 am

    […] not the only posting about love locks on Valentine’s…check out out a beautiful shot of a Montmarte love lock from Nicole of Bitten by the Travel […]

  • Reply
    Monica
    February 15, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Oh what a lovely story, just in time for Valentine’s Day too. I can’t believe I’d never heard this before. Glad you’re having a good time in Paris lovely.

    • Reply
      Nicole
      March 9, 2012 at 10:50 pm

      Thanks Monica! It’s a beautiful city and I hope you can explore it’s stories soon. 🙂

  • Reply
    D.J. - The World of Deej
    February 15, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Great story…I’ve left a little token in a special place for my wife and I…it’s been a few years and it’s still there:)

    • Reply
      Nicole
      March 9, 2012 at 10:51 pm

      Aww that’s beautiful D.J. 🙂 I hope the token stays there for many many more years to come.

  • Reply
    Thomas Dembie
    February 16, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Great read. It’s my fav area of Paris to wander – especially if you love art.

    • Reply
      Nicole
      March 9, 2012 at 10:51 pm

      Wonderful area for exploring the arts scene. I really do wish I had more time to see more but oh well, there’s always next time. 😉

  • Reply
    Cindy
    March 3, 2012 at 2:04 am

    Oh I love this post. I too climbed the backway, only I did it going down…so not sure if that classifies as climbing 🙂
    I loved Montmartre, the cathedral, the bustle, the artists, the quirky restaurants and the atmosphere were amazing. The view across Paris of course waas breath-taking. Sadly I didnt see any locks, but I did see a busker scare the h*ll out of some luckless and then legless tourists….highly entertaining! 🙂
    Thanks for a reminder of what was one of the most amazing holidays ever.
    Regards
    Cindy
    @3days_in_london

    • Reply
      Nicole
      March 9, 2012 at 10:53 pm

      You were smart Cindy! It’s hard work climbing up all those stairs.
      Haha, oh that would have been hilarious – poor tourists! Haha.
      Hope you have many more great holidays and visit Paris again soon. 🙂

  • Reply
    Heike
    March 15, 2012 at 3:30 am

    This is such a sweet story, Nicole. I am bit sad I read it after I came home from Paris. I have been up there but not seen any lock.
    While I think about it I should have locked one with the initials of my son and me. 😉
    When I walked down Montmartre we got completely lost…

    It was such a pleasure meeting you in peron at the ITB in Berlin!

  • Reply
    Walking in Montmartre
    July 19, 2012 at 12:45 am

    […] found love locks in other areas of Paris, but was surprised to see quite a number atop the hill. My favourite love […]

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