Some of you have already noticed the abundance of padlocks fixed to links of the chain fencing along a section of the Avenida de Las Playas in Lanzarote.
There are over three hundred padlocks attached to the length of chain which is located above the Barranquillo beach, just opposite Café del Carmen at the Hotel San Antonio end of The Strip. We stopped recently to read the inscriptions and a few passers by asked why these padlocks were here, what was it all about?
Love locks are normally attached to bridges, a symbol of eternal love between a couple, they attached the padlock and discard the key into the flowing river. We didn’t establish who was the first to start the craze in this location during our visit but it’s clear to see that it’s become a popular spot to show your love in Lanzarote. We wondered if the keys have been thrown into the sea off this beach? Maybe any divers or snorkellers in this area would know and this would explain why they are there.
We think it’s a lovely tradition and we were enchanted by the various locks, some couples had taken their padlock to be engraved with their name and the date, other’s had painted their names and tied ribbons or added stick on jewels to their padlock.
The practice of love locks is not appreciated by all, many councils in Europe find them a nuisance and have thousands of locks removed to preserve the bridges.
We understand that the collection in Puerto del Carmen is not loved by the Ayuntamiento of Tías, Mayor José Francisco Hernández is quoted as saying that he believes that this is disfiguring the area, giving a sense of abandonment to the place, due to the deterioration of many of the locks. He voiced a concern that the municipality is chosen by many tourists to celebrate their weddings which could lead to an increase of these pendants of love.
Since writing this article in 2011, the local council have embraced the "Candados del Amor" and are now marketing the resort as a romantic destination for weddings and honeymoons, their tourism website confirms that hundreds of love locks have sealed the union of many couples in Puerto del Carmen.
What do you think, should these padlocks be allowed to stay? Do you own one of these love lockets – let us know!