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Stockholm, Sweden

Love Locks of Västerbron

A former suicide bridge is now accumulating symbols of love instead of a body count. 

Love locks can be found in cities all over the world but usually not on a bridge mostly known for the suicides committed there.

Stockholm’s Västerbron Bridge has long maintained a reputation for being a nice place to jump off of. Among others, Anders Göthberg, the guitarist of the Swedish cult indie band Broder Daniel took his life here in March 2008, by taking a header off of the span. In 2012 the city of Stockholm added fences on top of the existing ones on the east side of the bridge just to prevent people from jumping off. The next year similar fences were added to the west side of the bridge as well and it seemed to have had an effect—12 attempted suicides were reported August - September 2012 but only three the next year when the fences were in place.

Regardless of its grim reputation, the bridge, like many of its kind around the world, has begun to accumulate a collection of love locks attached to its railings. These padlocks are put in place by swooning romantics as symbols of their everlasting love. Even with the romantic intention, this tradition has damaged countless bridges around the world, although the Västerbron seems to be holding up okay so far.

The love locks may one day damage the structure of the bridge, but for the time being, they seem to be less destructive than the reputation for suicide the bridge was accumulating previously.   

Know Before You Go

The love locks can be found on the east side of the bridge. The closest metro station is Hornstull on the red line southbound from Stockholm central station. From there it's a 10-15 minutes walk to the love locks.

Contributed by
h hrnick
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