The Bridge of love is the easiest way to reach the Cathedral if you are n the other side of Rheine, it's also the railway bridge. Why it's called Love bridge – because of the many love padlocks hanging from the fence! There are thousands of them in different colours and sizes. The lovers had written their names and the date of their anniversary or the date of “locking their love”. Even there was a couple on their wedding day taking photos there.
On the railroad bridge, the Hohenzollern Bridge, local couples place engraved locks as a sign of their commitment and love. I would assume they then throw the keys into the Rhine. I never expected to see this in Cologne.
The three humped Hohenzollern Bridge is one of Cologne's most iconic structures. It must have made an easy target for Allied bombers during World War 2, but despite their repeated attempts to destroy it the bridge remained standing. It was only after the Allied invasion of Germany that German troops blew up the bridge themselves, to slow the Allied advance. Pictures taken soon after the capture of Cologne show a city ravaged by war, and the bridge collapsed, its back broken.
Today the bridge has been rebuilt, and has become a Romantic promenade across the Rhine. It's understandable because the views of the Rhine and the Cologne riverside skyline are breathtaking. But only in Germany could so many people walk across a noisy bridge with not one, not two but three busy rail lines, hand in hand with their loved ones on a windy winter afternoon on Sunday. It's become such a popular place for Romantics that since 2008 the fashion for decorating metal fences with padlocks etched with lovers names has caught on here too. The entire length of the bridge, nearly 500m, is choked with padlocks.
Though I've been to Cologne I can't provide any informations except for what I said on my main Cologne page. I yet like to list those helpful links to Cologne pages:
The traditions of lovers attaching padlocks to a bridge and throwing the key into the river has arrived in Cologne, too. The railings of Hohenzollernbrücke along the foot and bike lane are full of them. Most have engraved names and dates. A bit cheesy, to be honest. I’d like to know how many of those ‘lovers forever’ are in fact still together to this very day… Probably a minority.
The big train bridge that leads to the central station is as much a national monument of the German empire as the completion of the cathedral. The bridge was built in the late 19th century and decorated with statues of the emperors. The name derives from the ruling dynasty of the Hohenzollern.
The bridge was blown up in World War II and later rebuilt.
The historic Hohenzollern bridge over the Rhine connects Köln-Deutz (on the right bank of the river) with the Old Town and City Centre (on the left bank). All train traffic via Cologne ultimately leads to the Hohenzollern bridge and the Central Train Station. The train traffic towards Cologne enjoys the panorama of the Rhine river and the Cathedral in the background when crossing the bridge. Pedestrians can cross the bridge, too: There is a footpath. The name derives from the statues of four Prussian Kings and German Emperors, King Friedrich Wilhelm IV. von Preußen, and the Emperors Wilhelm I., Friedrich III and Wilhelm II (the Hohenzollern nobles were the royal family of Prussia and later Germany).
The Hohenzollern bridge is impressive from above but it is also a bottleneck for train travellers. Often when you arrive in Cologne with tight connections, your train gets stuck for a couple more minutes on the bridge which really tests your nerves.
You can walk over the bridge on both sides.
The Hohenzollern Bridge is one of eight in Cologne to span the Rhine and certainly the most photographed. Though a train bridge it also affords pedestrian traffic and makes a great circuit along with the Deutzer Bridge for an excellent photographic vantage point across the river. Though originally built in the early 1900s it was not as lucky as the cathedral at escaping enemy bombing.
As early as 1859, Cologne had a fixed bridge. The bridge as you now see it was built between 1907 and 1911 and rebuilt after WWII when it was completely destroyed. On each side you will find on the left and right, statues of Friedrich Wilhelm IV., Wilhelm I (on the Deutz side) and Friedrich III. and Wilhelm II (on the centre side).
It's nice to walk across this bridge by foot. There is also a strange sculpture of a stick man.
Cologne has a great location, on the river Rhine, and majestic bridges are part of this. As Cologne is such an important traffic hub in Central Europe, you cannot imagine Cologne without its many bridges.
The bridge that I have featured here is the main railway bridge crossing Rhine from main railway station to Cologne-Deutz.
From this bridge you get a nice overview over the city along the Rhine. Ask Steve, he climbed up several times to get good pictures ;)