John Lennon Wall

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Lennon Wall

You will not come across too many who have not heard of John Lennon. And of those who have, there are not too many who will ever have the opportunity to step within 100 feet of the John Lennon Wall. If you are one of those few, than you know what a great honor it is to stand before the Wall and feel the history and emotion it brings to everyone in Prague.

The John Lennon Wall was just a regular wall in Prague until the untimely death of John Lennon in 1980. Czechoslovakia was under communist rule at the time, and, even though John Lennon never visited the country throughout his life, he was greatly admired by pacifist youths living there.

During the 1980s, the young people of Prague wrote Beatles’ lyrics and words about John Lennon in the form of graffiti over the wall. There was also a picture of Lennon painted on to the wall. They then added their own thoughts and feelings, and messages about freedom. Under the Communist regime, western ideals were banned and John Lennon’s songs especially as they were depicted to express freedom, which was not allowed under their regime. It was even illegal to play music by western bands and some were even jailed for it. However, the risk of prison did not stop people from sneaking there during the night to write the lyrics of his songs and their odes to Lennon.

The wall created much annoyance for the communist regime in 1988, led by Gustáv Husák, and this caused a clash between students and police on Charles Bridge.

This ‘Lennonism’ movement was described by the authorities to be made up of alcoholics, sociopaths, the mentally deranged and western capitalist agents. The authorities tried to stop the graffiti, and whitewashed over the whole wall several times, but by the second day it was covered again by flowers and poems by the young activists. Surveillance cameras and overnight guards could not stop the students expressing their views and opinions.

Lennon Wall

It has also been described as Prague’s ‘Berlin Wall’, and it is believed to have helped inspire the Velvet Revolution in 1989 which brought about the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia.

It went under some reconstruction in 1998, and now John Lennon’s face is completely obscured from all the paint. Instead of Anti-Communist graffiti, the wall is mostly made up of messages of love and peace.

The wall is located at Velkopřevorské Náměstí (Grand Priory Square), Malá Strana, opposite the French embassy and can be reached from Malostranska metro station (green line A) by taking tram numbers 12, 20, 22, 23. The nearest stops are at either Malostranske Namesti or Hellichova.

There are many things to see, hear and enjoy in this world, and in your lifetime, the John Lennon Wall is one that truly comes only once in a lifetime for very few. While in Prague take the time to honor your hero and visit the John Lennon Wall.

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