Updated 08:42 PM EST, Fri, Dec 04, 2020

Nearly 1 Million Paris ‘Love Locks’ Due to Be Removed From Bridges; 5 Romantic Alternatives to Do In The City

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They say, too much love can bring you down sometimes. And, if the Pont des Arts bridge in France's capital city of Paris, could only speak, it would, most probably, have concurred.

For the past years, couples in a love daze have been trying to reaffirm their unremitting love for one another by fastening padlocks on one of the bridge's railings, and tossing out the keys onto the river Seine. But over time, the bridge has had more than it can shoulder, and the city officials have had enough.

A railing section of the bridge gave way under the weight of these so called "love locks" in 2014. The city's efforts to remove almost one million love emblems that have weighed down on the structure with an estimated 45 tonnes of additional load are now underway, BBC reports.

As per Lisa Anselmo, co-founder of advocacy group No Love Locks, the practice may have started in Rome as a result of a 2006 Italian young adult novel-turned-film and was later adopted to other cities around the world, such as in Paris, and New York.

"Paris had to do something to save their heritage sites. The entire UNESCO World Heritage district is endangered by love locks," Anselmo said in an email to CNN.

The bridge will be closed down for a week while the work is being carried out. Glass panels will replace the grilles where locks have been attached to, but until such time the panels were fitted and installed, panels painted with artworks by artists will temporarily take over.

Most tourists are, naturally, disappointed with the move by the city officials. Janice and Samantha Clay, mother and daughter from Atlanta, visiting Paris on a graduation trip, expressed their dismay.

"It's sad. If it had never been there, it wouldn't be a bad thing, but it's on your bucket list for Paris: See the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and the bridge of love," Janice said via an article by the NYTimes.

But, love's not completely lost in the city of romance. The symbolic tradition of love-locking on the bridge may have come to an end, but the place still has plenty of romantic alternatives to offer. Here are five things to do in Paris for the besotted couples.

Romantic Dinner at the Eiffel Tower

Forget about the padlocks, couples can simply enjoy a sumptuous "gourmet French dinner" while taking in the "most amazing views of Paris." The Parisianist recommends checking out the 58 Tour Eiffel on the 1st Floor of the Eiffel Tower or Jules Verne, a Michelin 1-star rated restaurant on the second floor.

Walk hand-in-hand along Canal St-Martin

"There is no finer spot for a romantic stroll or cycle than along the shaded 19th-century tow paths of tranquil Canal St-Martin," says the LonelyPlanet. Couples can also have the pleasure of sitting on one of the waterside pews while marveling at the vintage, iron footbridge that swings open for canal boats to pass through, or get mesmerized by the fashionable Soho-boho quartier.

Check out The Wall of I Love you's. 

"Le Mur des je t'aime" in French, the Wall is a meeting point for lovers in Montmartre according to TheTouristInParis. The area located at Square Jehan Rictus features a surface area of 40 square meters, and made up of 612 squares of enamelled lava, on which 'I love you' is translated 311 times in 250 languages.

Get lost in the World-renowned Museum

Couples can take their sweet time sauntering along one of the many halls of the iconic Louvre, as suggested by RailEurope. They can get lost in time, gawking at the magnificent works of art, which include no less than Da Vinci's Mona Lisa.

Cruisin' on the Seine

The Seine River can provide a scenic tour of the most iconic monuments in the city--- it's not just there to collect those lock keys thrown away by couples. The Parisian notes that the best time to enjoy the cruise is at dusk, when you can also opt to wine-and-dine on board.

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