Ljubljana’s Ironic Bridge of Love

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*This is my post to go along with this week's #FriFotos theme of bridges.


It's not a bridge you're likely to find on a map of Ljubljana. In fact, it's not a bridge most people talk about at all when it comes to Ljubljana.

Perhaps because there are other, prettier bridges in Ljubljana (like the Dragon Bridge or the Triple Bridge). Maybe it's because this simple bridge was only opened in 2010.

Or perhaps nobody talks much about it because it's called the Butcher's Bridge.

Well, as it turns out, the Butcher's Bridge is one of the more interesting ones in Slovenia's capital.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

The Butcher's Bridge is a footbridge that spans the Ljubljanica River between the Central Market and Petkovsek Embankment in Ljubljana. It was built more as an art installation than anything, and features glass panels near the edges and some rather disturbing sculptures.

But it just so happens that this bridge is Ljubljana's version of a love bridge.

All along the steel wire railings, couples have attached padlocks etched with their names and clasped with their love.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

The padlock thing isn't unique to Ljubljana — you can find similar love lock bridges in Paris (the Pont des Arts), Florence (the Ponte Vecchio), Cologne, Rome, and Dublin, just to name a few. No one is really sure where the tradition started, but there are now similar bridges in cities all over the world.

Couples etch their names onto padlocks, lock them onto a bridge, and then throw away the key as a symbol of their love.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

The ironic thing about this particular love bridge is that the bridge itself seems to represent the opposite of everlasting love.

First of all, it's called the Butcher's Bridge. Not exactly romantic.

Secondly, the sculptures on the bridge are of things like: Adam and Eve shamed and banished from Paradise; Prometheus running (disemboweled) in punishment for having given men the knowledge of fire; and a variety of creepy-looking frogs and skulls.

Adam and Eve
Photo by Bryce Edwards, on Flickr (because I was too creeped out by these to take photos)

Again, not exactly romantic.

But perhaps the irony is on purpose — perhaps the love padlocks are there to help cancel out the more depressing themes of Butcher's Bridge.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Whatever the reason behind it, though, I would definitely recommend a stroll across this curious bridge if you ever find yourself in Ljubljana.

READ NEXT: Ljubljana: The City You Can’t Help But Love

Have you ever seen one of these love lock bridges on your travels? What do you think of this one?


"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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