Salzburg in Austria has many similarities with Heidelberg in Germany:
- A river runs through it
- A castle/fortress is located on a hill above a quaint Old Town
- Love locks on the bridge over the river
Salzburg seems to be a little more tolerant than Heidelberg with the love-struckness of its visitors and allows you to place a lock on the bridge.
Please also refer to last year's blog Love Rocks in Heidelberg.
Love locks cover almost all available space on both sides of the 112 meter long bridge. To give you a better idea of how massive the lock collection is:
Imagine an American football field with a 3 foot tall fence on both sides of the field extending from end line to end line - all covered in locks. I estimate the area covered by love locks to be approximately 200 square meters.
The pedestrian bridge has been torn down and rebuilt multiple times in its short lifetime and the current version is only 20 years old. It was completely rebuilt in 2001. Its unique architecture features only one support in the middle of the river.
Thus, in order to ensure the stability of the bridge, a crew of 3-4 city workers spends an entire week thinning out the love lock collection. Every year in springtime, they remove 1 metric ton (1000 kilograms) of love locks taking them to a metal recycling center. (*2)
Your love lock is likely to survive the purge if it is not too large, does not obstruct any structure on the bridge (lights etc) and is not offensive.
When it was first built in 1905, the bridge was named after the painter Hans Markart (1840-1884) and was called Markartsteg. At one point in time it was also called Museumsteg and Wissensbrücke.(*1).
In September 2020, the Markartsteg bridge was renamed to Feingold-Steg after Marko Feingold. (*3)
Marko Feingold was Austria's oldest survivor of the Holocaust when he died at age 106 in 2019. He had impressively survived four of the most deadly concentration camps: Auschwitz, Neuengamme, Dachau und Buchenwald. (*3)
Feingold's widow was strongly opposed to renaming the bridge after her socially prominent husband because she thinks the bridge, in contrast to a building or a road, is impermanent. (*3)
Certainly the bridge's name has been impermanent. But, look on the bright side Frau Feingold, the bridge tends to keep its name longer than the locks on it.
Are the beige locks with the name "short-term rental" in photo above perhaps a reference to the frequent renaming of the bridge? Or are they a symbol of some kind of kinky dating club? I don't want to go there... but I am, as always, curious.
Finally, for everyone who was wondering "where's the key?" .... here's the answer:
Sources: (in German only - use your browser's translation feature)
- Bridges of Salzburg https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Br%C3%BCcken_Salzburgs
- Love locks in Salzburg https://www.sn.at/salzburg/chronik/magistrat-laesst-liebesschloesser-auf-dem-makartsteg-abzwicken-was-passiert-damit-68156692
- Renaming bridge to Feingold-Steg https://salzburg.orf.at/stories/3065585/