Paris is the city of love, so it's fitting that the French captial has several thriving love lock locations.
Love locks - a tradition whereby sweethearts inscribe their names or initials on a padlock, attach it to a public structure and throw away the key, permanently sealing their love - adorn the Pont des Arts, the footbridge that crosses the Seine from the Left Bank to the Louvre, as well as the Pont de l'Archevêché, in the shadow of Notre Dame Cathedral.
Several years ago, following political discussions about whether the locks were an eyesore or detrimental to the integrity of the city's architecture, the Pont des Arts was mysteriously cleared one night.
The lovers' party switched to the Pont de l'Archevêché, before authorities eventually relented, dismissing staid regulatory concerns and allowing romance to flourish, as it now does on both bridges.
In August 2012 City Hall spokesman Damien Steffan was quoted as saying: “We are letting the phenomenon be, looking at it with benevolence. It’s not a problem for us.”
What was once a clandestine, by-the-cover-of-darkness activity, is now a celebrated ritual and almost a right-of-passage for lovers visiting the city.
Indeed, padlock and permanent marker pen vendors do a thriving trade on the bridges.
“People like it and they tell other people about it," Steffan said. "They give Paris some publicity.”
But before affixing a lock, couples should be aware of a rumour as to the romantic significance of each bridge.
A French tour guide was reportedly overheard explaining to her group: “You must be very careful which bridge you put your lock on because Pont des Arts is for your committed love, while Pont de l'Archevêché is for your lover.”