While many people believe France's Eiffel Tower is the most romantic spot in Europe, there is a bridge in Germany that may have Paris beat. The Hohenzollern Bridge in Cologne is a unique destination for couples to visit and express their love in a long-lasting way. The fences that line either side of the overpass are covered with padlocks placed there by local lovers and visitors from around the world. The sight of this bridge is spectacular whether visitors are viewing it from afar or standing on the structure, looking out through the locks to see the Rhine River.
When lovers visit the Hohenzollern Bridge, they often bring along a lock to attach to the structure. After doing so, they will ceremoniously toss the key into the river, to symbolize that their love is true and eternal. Many couples choose bright colors and decorate their locks with their names and designs to make them stand out, and the effect is breathtaking. From afar, the bridge appears to sparkle with all the different colors. The city's official website indicates this tradition was not born in Cologne, but is believed to have started in Italy. Other examples of "locks of love" can be found in various cities around the world, but few are more remarkable than the Hohenzollern Bridge.
This tradition has left the bridge covered with so many locks that the bridge operator considered removing them, AOL Travel reports. However, so many people spoke out against this idea that officials have agreed to leave the locks in place. Travelers can see this incredible sight for themselves when their river cruise brings them to Cologne, and they may even want to bring along a padlock of their own to symbolize their love and add to the ever-growing collection of romantic symbols that decorate this structure.