Instagramarama_LoveLocks Love locks are padlocks that couples attach to a public object such as a fence, gate, or bridge to symbolize their love. Typically inscribed with the couples initials, the keys are thrown away to show that their love is unbreakable.

The act dates back to over a century ago when a Serbian schoolteacher and a soldier fell in love in Vrnjacka Banja, Serbia. During the First World War, the soldier was sent to Greece where he fell in love with another woman and never returned. The young schoolteacher later died — supposedly of heartbreak. The story inspired other young women to write their names and their partners on locks and locking them to bridge railings in hopes to avoid a similar fate.

Today, love locks are somewhat controversial as some people see them as romantic gestures, while others see them as eyesores. Either way, they are becoming increasingly popular with locks popping up on bridges around the world from New York City to Melbourne.

With Valentine’s Day coming up, we thought we’d gather up our favorite Instagram photos of these symbols of love.

Southbank Pedestrian Bridge in Melbourne

A photo posted by Jenny (@beefreelivefree) on

Photo: beefreelivefree/Instagram

Pont des Arts Bridge in Paris

A photo posted by Wazim Tagauly (@wazou_75) on

Photo: wazou_75/Instagram

Brooklyn Bridge in New York City

A photo posted by Cat Lowry (@catlowry) on

Photo: catlowry/Instagram

Hohenzollern Bridge in Cologne

A photo posted by 張佑丞 (@edworld1987) on

Photo: edworld1987/Instagram

Corktown Footbridge in Ottawa

A photo posted by Andrew Kaikai (@andrew.kaikai) on

Photo: andrew.kaikai/Instagram

Humber Bay Arch Bridge in Toronto

A photo posted by Eva (@evologist) on

Photo: evologist/Instagram

Mount Huang in Huangshan

A photo posted by Brad Bowman (@bradbowman10) on

Photo: bradbowman10/Instagram

Malá Strana Pedestrian Bridge in Prague

A photo posted by @zsgy on

Photo: zsgy/Instagram

Butcher’s Bridge in Ljubljana

A photo posted by Tegan Ashley (@teganashleyy) on

Photo: teganashleyy/Instagram

North Seoul Tower in Seoul

A photo posted by @mhuff15 on

Photo: mhuff15/Instagram

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