The Lovers’ Bridge, a Blissful Artery Connecting North and South Krakow
Straddling the banks of the Vistula River and connecting two of Krakow’s most beautiful and historic neighborhoods, the 145 meter-long Lovers’ Bridge (Polish: Kładka Ojca Bernatka) is a lovely place to walk, sit, or hang up a lock for your sweetheart. The bridge is situated east of the “horn” of the old Jewish Quarter along Podgorska Street on the north side, and Nadwislanska Street on the Podgorze side, and offers breathtaking views of the Vistula promenade year-round.
A perfect day involving the Lovers’ Bridge would include a stroll through Kazimierz, starting in Plac Nowy and threading southeast through the old brick buildings, perhaps with an ice cream or zapiekanka in hand, then a long, slow walk across the bridge itself, examining the locks and imagining their unknown owners, identifiable only by a few hand-carved initials, whose love has been immortalized between the bridge’s huge, curving abutments. Finally, a thoughtful trek through the twisting streets of Podgorze to the south, with possible visits to the Ghetto Heroes Square, the old Ghetto Wall, and Schindler’s Factory, lends a somber but important note of reflection to this otherwise picture-perfect route.
The Lovers’ Bridge began construction quite recently, in 2009, and was opened to the public in 2010. Its official dedication is to the late Father Laetus Bernatek (1847-1927), who was instrumental in the construction of a nearby hospital in Kazimierz. While not without its fair share of controversy – such as complaints the bridge is unnecessary, given its visible proximity to two other bridges with pedestrian crossing, as well as accusations it contributes to gentrification – the Lovers’ Bridge has become an iconic part of the Vistula promenade in the years since it was built, and new locks are constantly being added to the countless which are already there.
The bridge is open at all hours. There are many nearby attractions in both Kazimierz and Podgorze which make crossing the Lovers’ Bridge an experience not to be missed.
Images by Hannah Bialic for Absolute Tours
Krakow Lovers’ Bridge Info
Address: Podgórska 15 Kraków, Poland
Map ref: 50.0465019,19.9468858
More info about the Lovers’ Bridge can be found here.
Opening hours: Always open.
Best time to see it: Daytime