Mühlesteg repairs: Zurich offers couples a chance to reclaim love locks

Mühlesteg repairs: Zurich offers couples a chance to reclaim love locks

As you pace across the bridges of Swiss cities and those across Europe, you often find reminders of weddings and engagements that came before you, as evidenced by the so-called “love locks” left attached to nearby railings and barriers. Now, Zurich is set to remove these locks on the Mühlesteg bridge because of urgent maintenance work - but don’t worry! Happy couples will be given a chance to collect them before they are destroyed.

Mühlesteg in Zurich to be renovated 

In a statement given to 20 Minuten, the Civil Engineering Office of Zurich confirmed that the Mühlesteg (Mill Bridge) - colloquially known as the “Love Bridge” - would be lifted out of the river and renovated from August 24. They explained that the bridge itself is well-loved; with barriers and chain links now rusty and bent, repairs and renovations are desperately needed.

While the renovation work may add a few minutes to your journey across the Limmat, authorities’ main concern regards the thousands of so-called “love locks” that line the bridge's railings and fences. Since 2012, couples have been able to affix the locks to the bridge and symbolically throw the key into the water to signify their commitment to each other - many locks also have special engravings, designs and colours.

Despite their deep meaning, the office confirmed that all the love locks would be taken off the bridge and recycled as part of the renovations. However, before couples despair, the local council (Gemeinde) has come up with a novel idea designed to rescue the locks that mean the most.

Love birds can collect their locks from Mühlesteg on August 16

From 1pm to 3pm on August 16, 2023, two city employees will be present to help couples recover their locks from the bridge. They will professionally remove the locks upon request and hand them over for free. Any remaining mementoes on the Mühlesteg after 3pm will be removed and recycled as scrap metal.

So long as the weather stays clear, the Mühlesteg will be lifted out of the water and transported to a maintenance facility on the night of August 24. Authorities hope to reassemble the bridge in November and have promised that once reinstalled, couples will once again be able to attach locks to it - a Love Bridge rejuvenated.

Thumb image credit: Media Castle /

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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