Bridge of Love
At the beginning of the First World War, when they still hadn’t suspected the war, a teacher Nada and a Serbian officer Relja fell in love. They fell in love and got engaged. It was love that everybody talked about, that all the people from Vrnjci knew about. But the war came, with all its horrors. Relja leaves for Greece, on the battlefield. He leaves never to come back, because of the beautiful Greek girl who he falls in love with and breaks the engagement with Nada. What happened to him later, the legend doesn’t say, but what Nada’s destiny is known by everybody from Vrnjci. Because of too great a sorrow she pined away and died, young and unhappy.
The girls, moved by Nada’s destiny, wanting to preserve their love, write their names and those of their loved ones on padlocks, and tie them to the bridge fence, Nada and Relja’s favourite meeting place, and symbolically throw the keys into the river.
Other wars and other sufferings came. The story is forgotten, and the girls’ custom to “tie” their love went out of use. Until the moment when Desanka Maksimovich, the famous Serbian poet, according to the old residents, in one of her visits to Vrnjci Spa learnt this tragic story, and inspired by it wrote one of her most beautiful love songs: The Prayer for love. Everything fades away, only the help of Almighty God can preserve the love an make it last.
Although we often tend to forget, this story is not forgotten; and in order to make it live longer, young couples continued the tradition of “tying” their love, and the bridge is called Bridge of Love.
Bridge of Love
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