Quirky Seoul, Love of Locks at Namsan Tower

Seoul, Korea

Of all the things Seoul has to offer, the collection of love of locks at Seoul’s Namsan Tower was my favorite. I guess I’m just a sappy romantic at heart.

I didn’t come to Namsan Tower for the view (not that it’s bad), but to see the thousands of padlocks left behind by couples as a declaration of their everlasting love. I came to Namsan Tower without any expectation, only to learn later on that Namsan Tower is one of the more famous sites for love padlock collection in the world.

A love padlock at Seoul's Namsan Tower
A love padlock at Seoul’s Namsan Tower

I’m not really sure how love and padlocks are connected (bondage?) – but it was an impressive view.

There were all different kinds of locks that I’d like to think represent the couples who left them behind:
Utilitarian, bronze padlock – cutesy, whimsical ones – commitment freak bicycle locks – obsessive, possessive heavy duty locks – to smartphone covers (?).

Thousands of locks left behind at N Seoul Tower

Not only the locks are… err, locked, onto the security fence around the base of Namsan tower, but they’ve overtaken these tree-shaped structures as well.

Padlock 'trees' at the base of N Seoul Tower
Padlock ‘trees’ at the base of N Seoul Tower

And of course the heart shaped sculpture has very little chance of escaping the padlock onslaught.

heart sculpture with locks inside

In some areas the padlocks are layered on so thickly you can’t see the fence anymore.
The many padlocks left behind at Seoul Tower

I wanted to leave a lock behind although Jack wasn’t with me at the time and it felt like it should be a couple thing to do. But it was cold and I was running late to catch my flight. So I left.

(Beside, if I were to get a padlock, it’d be a TSA approved one for my luggage. I guess I’m not a sappy romantic after all).

If I ever get back to Seoul, I wonder….

At the rate these locks are being left behind, would the fence collapse under their collective weight? Would the whole tower be covered with padlocks? Now that would be a sight.

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11 Replies to “Quirky Seoul, Love of Locks at Namsan Tower”

  1. Those love locks have actually taken down a part of Pont Des Artes, an old bridge, in Paris. I was just there and apparently the weight of the locks add up and the bridge lost a parapet from the weight of all the love locks. The tradition of these locks is not very old and really it defaces the things they are put on. Cities are spending tax money that could be used for other things to removing these locks. It’s a cute idea but in practice it’s not a very good one.

  2. How cute! I've never been a love padlock site but I'd love to. Hopefully by that time I'll have found a boyfriend to go with 😉

  3. Looove the padlock trees. So cute. There is a place in Florence where lovers can put up their padlocks as a sign of eternal love as well. I wonder how many of those actually last…

  4. Wow. That's really interesting. And the pictures are way cool to see. It really puts the size of the thing in perspective, seeing all of the locks next to the people like that.

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