Thursday, February 12, 2009
The Lock Bridge
So there is a small canal that defines the border of Old Riga opposite the Daugava. The canal is crossed by a number of small bridges. In what we gather is a mostly Russian tradition, on their wedding day, a bride and groom attach a lock to a bridge and then throw the key in the water. We won't insult your intelligence by further explaining the symbolism. In any case, many of the bridges in Riga feature a fair number of locks in the summer wedding season - your correspondent has actually seen a vague line of decked-out couples waiting patiently, photographer at their side, for their turn to put their lock on some of the more picturesque bridges.
Mostly, apparently unmoved by the symbolism, city employees go around every so often and cut all the locks off the bridges - except, that is, for one of the smallest and most picturesque bridges, where they are allowed to accumulate longer, or maybe indefinitely. Unsurprisingly, this is the bridge with the biggest observed summertime bridal queues.