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Women trade punches over neglected dog poo

Bergisch Gladbach in North Rhine-Westphalia, hometown of supermodel Heide Klum, was once linked in Germans' minds with the catwalk. But now it is just as infamous for a dog walk, after two women came to blows over a mound of pooch poo.

Women trade punches over neglected dog poo
'This is not a dog toilet.' Photo: DPA

The fight broke out on Sunday evening when a dog belonging to a 32-year-old woman did its business in a local park, reports Die Welt.

A 33-year-old female passer-by, seeing the dog's owner walk on, demanded that she clean up her dog's mess, police reported.

When the woman refused a shouting match ensued. Before long the 33-year-old had thrown her keys at the dog owner and hit her on the head.

At this point a passing man managed to separate the two women.

But that wasn't the end of it. The dog owner returned a few minutes later with male reinforcements and once again things got violent.

By this point five people were involved in a full blown fist fight. One person was even using a club, police revealed on Monday.

According to town regulations in Bergisch Gladbach, not cleaning up dog poo can carry a fine of 30 euros.

The police are also investigating serious bodily harm due to evidence of serious wounds, swollen arms and ripped out hair as a result of the fight.

This is not the first time this year that enraged Germans have made headlines with an act of protest against dog poo.

In April, locals in Einbeck, Lower Saxony, gathered 250 kg of dogs' leavings from the town's parks and hung it round the neck of a famous local statue in protest against lazy owners.

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Germany’s Scheffelbrücke: Everything you need to know about the ‘world’s most expensive bridge’

Germany's Scheffelbrücke might not seem like much to look at, but by some accounts it is the most expensive bridge in the world. Here’s what you need to know.

Germany's Scheffelbrücke: Everything you need to know about the ‘world’s most expensive bridge’
The Scheffelbrücke in Baden-Württemburg isn't known for its astounding beauty or engineering prowess - but it is known for its price tag. Photo: Heinz Seehagel, Creative Commons.

If you’re travelling near the Swiss border, you might come across the Scheffelbrücke – a quiet, two-lane bridge over the Radolfzeller Aach in Baden-Württemburg. 

By bridge standards, the 20-metre concrete construction seems relatively unremarkable – until you take a look at the engraved sign on the side which quotes the price tag. 

A sign on the bridge references the incredible price of the bridge: 1,520,940,901,926,024 Deutschmarks. 

That’s 1,500 trillion marks. 

Why is the Scheffelbrücke Germany’s most expensive bridge – and why is it so drab?

While Germany has the money and the landscape to have some expensive bridges, that over the Aach hardly rivals the Golden Gate, London Bridge or Sydney Harbour for elegance or ingenuity. 

The bridge, completed in 1923, takes the name of Joseph Victor von Scheffel, a German writer who will forever be associated with the glorified concrete slab. 

While one might suspect pork barrelling or crafty accounting as a reason for the astonishing cost – or perhaps a trick to reel in the tourists to the otherwise unassuming village of Singen – the cost is in fact real.

The high price is a consequence of the out of control post-World War One inflation which hit Germany, where money almost completely lost its value. 

A sign for the bridge reveals its extortionate building costs. Photo: Heinz Seehagel, Creative Commons.

Local authorities, wanting to boost the economy, signed off on the bridge as an infrastructure project. 

As a consequence, some local workers presumably became millionaires as a consequence – although there was perhaps little meaning to the idea of being a millionaire when a billion would only buy you a concrete bridge. 

Fortunately, Germany was able to bring inflation under control and wheelbarrows full of money were no longer required to purchase basic things.

And almost a century later, when not taking wacky inflation into account, Germany’s ‘most expensive bridge in the world’ no longer has that title. 

That goes to the Oakland Bay Bridge in San Francisco (no, not the Golden Gate but the other one), which cost 6.3 billion US dollars – or roughly 5.2 billion euro  – to build. 

The Oakland Bay Bridge however goes for eight kilometres and possesses some of the aesthetic qualities which one would expect from the most expensive bridge in the world. 

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