Park Bridge in Kyiv
Kyivans also have their Love Bridge, the Park bridge, a romantic place with beautiful views. Lovers from all countries have a tradition to place symbols of love – padlocks and ribbons – on certain bridges. This small pedestrian bridge is in Kyiv centre and has several names: Park Bridge, Devil’s Bridge, Bridge of Kisses, Love Bridge and Small Paton’s Bridge. The official name is Parkovyi (Park) Bridge. The bridge of welded steel was built in 1910 on Peter’s alley connecting Khreshchatyi and Mariinskyi parks. During the revolution of 1917 it was badly damaged but later repaired and restored. During WWII the bridge miraculously survived while much of Kyiv did not. In 1983, the original construction was replaced with the steel bridge made to the design of Professor Paton.
The official name is Parkovyi Park Bridge.
The bridge is an attraction for lovelorn teenage girls and young couples. The loving couple bring a padlock, lock it and throw the key from the bridge, hoping that their love will last forever. Sometimes they write the name of their beloved on it and hang the lock, or a heart in a locket, from the bridge railings. There is also a belief that the one who you kiss here will remember you for all of their lives. Judging by the number of locks you see, Kyiv really is a city of romantics. But it has a darker side. Sadly many broken hearted individuals have committed suicide by jumping to their deaths and so it is also known as Chortov (Devil) Bridge.
The statue of “Luigi and Mokrin”, one of the most moving monuments of Kyiv, was installed near the bridge in May 2013. It is dedicated to a real story of love that started back in 1943, when the Italian POW soldier Luigi Peduto and Ukrainian Mokrin Yurzuk first met in an Austrian POW camp and were together for two years. After the defeat of Germany they were separated and did not meet again for 60 years. Only in 2004 did they meet again and embrace each other. It is this touching embrace that we see. Soon Luigi proposed Mokrin and she accepted. Now they are parted by death. But in bronze, by Park Bridge, they are together for ever.
This article was published in the book Interesting Kyiv.
You could download this book in PDF file for free here.
© Sky Horse Publishing House (Kyiv) / Nahs Haus, 2019
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