One of the places that is incredibly popular in Prague is the Lennon Wall. In fact, J. Lennon never visited Prague and still became the symbol of one of its greatest landmarks.
The story of the Lennon Wall started in the 1980s when a few artists used lyrics from the Beatles’ songs that emphasize today’s issues. Initially, the wall was decorated with love poems that contained small yet meaningful messages about the regime of the 1960s. During these times, the wall was also known as the “Crying Wall” since it was representing the frustration people felt with Communism and the life under the regime.
Sign of freedom and peace
When John Lennon got murdered, the wall quickly became a sign of freedom and peace. Young Czechs would come to the Lennon Wall to write their thoughts about the new reforms, full of anger and resistance. In front of the Wall, you could have heard Western pop music, which was banned by the Communist regime. Some people say that there was a clash between students, which led to the liberalization movement – Lennonism. The government labelled the young members alcoholics, mentally damaged sociopaths, and the spies of the Western free-market capitalism.
Today, the Lennon Wall is constantly undergoing reconstructions. The first original painting of J. Lennon is lost under the layers of paint, and the police’s attempts to whitewash the wall failed. When it was first repainted, hundreds of poems and flowers appeared there by the next day. Even the installation of CCTV cameras did not help.
After the fall of Communism, the Lennon Wall became an important historical landmark. Now, most of the writings symbolize love, peace, and whatever else on the mind of the artist. However, some still use the wall for social and political campaigns. For example, on the 22nd of April 2019, an active community, Extinction Rebellion, repainted the wall with the slogan ‘Climate Emergency.’ As a result, the group received numerous messages and calls supporting the campaign. Even though the wall was repainted afterwards, the sign was still saved.
In 2021, the Lennon Wall belongs to the religious group Sovereign Military Order of Malta, and every person is free to write what he wishes. However, only selected street-artists are allowed to paint on the surface. The Wall is full of Lennon’s images, graffiti, and messages addressed to politicians. Some people associate it with the Berlin Wall for its significance and impact.
Featured image by Spaul57 via Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0