Love is in the Air…

Another year is over and Valentine’s Day is just round the corner. Year after year, love is celebrated on 14th February .

Valentine’s Day is a celebration referring to Saint Valentine. They say Valentine lived in the 3rd century AD in the region of modern day Italy. He endowed lovers with flowers from his own garden and married them according to traditions of the Christian religion. However by doing so, Valentine acted against the Roman emperor who had previously forbid Christianity and church marriages.  For breaking the Emperor’s laws, Valentine was executed on 14th February 269. 100 years after his death the Catholic Church canonized him and 200 years after his death, the church prescribed 14th February as Valentine’s Day.

With the passage of time Valentine’s Day became the day of lovers. People started to give presents to each other in form of flowers, colorful greeting cards and sweets. England was among the first to begin this new tradition. They assume that the poem “The Parliament of Fowls” by Geoffrey Chaucer, written in the 14th century, was a contributing factor to the tradition. In the Victorian period this convention became only stronger. Later, when the English people migrated to America, Valentine’s Day became popular in the New World and the British brought their traditions with them. In Germany, however, Valentine’s Day became known and fancied at some remote period. It was not until the end of the World War II did American soldiers bring the convention of Valentine’s Day to West Germany.

Today it is barely impossible to imagine the world without Valentine’s Day. Lovers give little cute presents to each other and pamper each other with sweet delicacies. Presents in form of flowers are, of course, a common practice on this day as well. “Love Locks” are also a way to express love, many times these locks are engraved and fixed by the lovers to bridges to symbolize their unbreakable and hopefully long lasting love.

In Heidelberg, too, this convention is well known and popular. The Old Bridge is very popular for couples to fix their “Love Locks” to. However, the idea of fixing the “Love Locks” to the Old Bridge is anything but welcome for protectors of historical buildings and monuments.

"Love Stone" of Heidelberg

“Love Stone” of Heidelberg

They think the “Love Locks” would be bad for the bridge. Nevertheless, for continuing the convention of fixing of “Love Locks” Heidelberg city put up a “Love Stone” not far away from the Old Bridge. On this “Love Stone” are metal rings to which couples can attach their “Love Locks”. In the middle of the stone there is a round hole which can be used for photos. Moreover, they engraved into the stone the love poem “Der Blick” by the German poet J. von Eichendorff. All in all it is a nice idea and a great compromise for both the protectors of the bridge and the lovers of the “Love Locks”.

The poem of Eichendorff is really beautiful and goes nicely with the “Love Stone”. It perfectly describes Valentine’s Day. On that note we wish you all a wonderful Valentine’s Day and sweet presents.

 

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