Littlebit of history
This wall used to be an ordinary wall in Prague. It has been called The John Lennon Wall
since the 1980s, when many people filled it with John Lennon-inspired graffiti and lyrics
from Beatles songs.
Paradoxically John Lennon himself never visited Prague during his lifetime.
The wall itself has become a prominent part of recent Czech history. Lennon became a hero of
the pacifist youth of the Central and Eastern Europe during the totalitarian era for many
reasons. Before 1989 when the Communists were in power, Western pop songs were banned
by the authorities, especially John Lennons songs, because they praised freedom – unknown
at that time in Czechoslovakia.Some musicians were even jailed for playing his music! In 1980 John Lennon was murdered
and he became the hero of some of the younger generation and his picture was painted on this
wall, for whatever reason, along with graffiti defying the authorities.
It should be stressed that at that time the Czech people had few opportunities to express their
feelings about, and because of their lack of freedom. With this activity the young activists
risked prison for what the authorities called “subversive activities against the state”.
Of course there was the threat of prison but it didn’t keep people away from slipping there in
the middle of the night to scrawl graffiti, at first in the form of Beatles lyrics and odes to
Lennon, then by writing their own feelings and dreams directly onto the wall.
Touris atraction now
The state police tried repeatedly to remove the portrait and messages of peace but they never
managed to keep the wall completely clean. The next day it was, once again, full of poems
and flowers with paintings of Lennon. Even the installation of surveillance cameras and the
posting of an night guard didn’t prevent the opinions of freedom from being expressed.
The John Lennon wall is continuously undergoing change and the original portrait of Lennon
is long lost under many layers of paint.Nowadays, the wall represents one of the symbols of youth ideals such as love and peace. It is
also possible to find a bust of John Lennon there.Today the wall is owned by the Knights of the Maltese Cross, that, thankfully have allowed
the graffiti to remain on the wall as a reminder of the recent past.
John Lennon wall is only 5 minutes from our hostel. Are you wondering about staying in Prague? You can book a room in our hostel only with one click over here