The historic centre of Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is one of the most popular destinations in Europe due to its unique architecture and cultural significance. However, there is a wall in the area of the Mala Strana that has become famous and attracts more visitors every year. It is called “the John Lennon Wall”.
The wall is located in a small square opposite the French embassy. It was first decorated with love poems and short messages against the communist regime in the 1960s. But it was associated with John Lennon, a symbol of freedom and political struggle, after his assassination in 1980, when someone painted on the wall the image of the songwriter and some of his lyrics.
The wall has been constantly changing since then and Lennon’s original portrait is no longer visible, lost under layers of new graffiti. Whenever in the past the authorities had tried to repaint the wall, the next day it was again full of poems, flowers and symbols. In addition to the paintings, over the years, the wall has also been used for many political statements. For example, on April 22, 2019, Earth Day, the Extinction Rebellion action team repainted the entire wall with slogans calling for action on climate change and also encouraged the public to add their own messages.
In October 2019, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Czech Velvet Revolution, the wall was reconstructed and painted by a team of Czech and foreign professional artists assembled by Czech designer Pavel Stastny. Since then, the wall operates under certain rules: spraying is no longer allowed and people can leave their messages only in the white free zones.
Therefore, John Lennon Wall has become an internal symbol of free expression for the people of Prague, but it has also become a popular and sometimes overcrowded tourist destination. However, it never loses its cultural significance and is definitely something you should put on your bucket list during a visit to Prague.