Then I started seeing padlocks on bridges everywhere: in Rome, Prague, Cologne and on the Pont des Arts in Paris. The novelty wore off, and I stopped looking for them and taking pictures.
That is, until I arrived in Ljubljana, Slovenia, the first stop on this year’s Big Trip. In the pristine, charming center of this little gem of a city, one bridge made me sit up and take notice of love locks again. It’s called Mesarski Most, or Butchers’ Bridge.
For the first time ever, I found myself regretting not having a padlock to fix on a bridge. And I am so not into that kind of thing. But I could totally get into protecting our love with a set of sharp bronze jaws.
These thoroughly fascinating grotesques are the creations of Slovene sculptor Jakov Brdar. In addition to the fossil-like creatures, Brdar’s art appears all over Butchers’ Bridge, such as these flat bronze pebbles with faces, which were strewn along the railings…
… and three visually arresting sculptures: Prometheus, the Satyr, and Adam and Eve.
Later, Marlon and I happened upon another work by Brdar at the Ljubljana central station, where we caught a late afternoon train to Maribor. One look at this grille set into the ground and there was no mistaking it was by the same artist. It’s a memorial to James Joyce, who spent one night at the Ljubljana central station on his way to Trieste, Italy on October 19, 1904.