Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Love Locks at Namsan Park, Seoul

Photo: Love Locks at Namsan Park, Seoul, South Korea

The Namsan Park covers Mt. Namsan and its surrounding areas in central Seoul, South Korea. The N Seoul Tower, a radio and TV communication tower, doubles up as an observation tower too because it offers panoramic views of Seoul's skyline.

Interestingly, the tower’s observation deck attracts a lot of lovers who believe that locking padlocks to the railings there as a symbol of their loves can make their loves everlasting. The padlocks that you see in the picture are locked by lovers who may be visiting the spot only for this purpose.

The tradition of love locks has its origin in a failed Serbian love story of World War I vintage. The location is the bridge Most Ljubavi (the Bridge of Love) in Vrnjačka Banja. Nada, a schoolmistress, fell in love with an officer named Relja, who too committed to her love. But soon Relja had to go to Greece on war duty and eventually he fell in love with another woman there. Nada, who came to know of her lover breaking off, could not recover from the blow and soon died due to heartbreak.

After this sad incident, the local young women started writing their own names along with the names of their lovers on padlocks which they locked on to the railings of the Bridge of Love where Nada and Relja used to meet.

In early 2000s, love locks started appearing in the rest of Europe, including in France, Germany, Italy, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Gradually the tradition caught up at various locations in several other countries such as Algeria, Australia, Canada, United States, Taiwan and Uruguay.

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