The John Lennon Wall in Prague is a colorful and iconic symbol of peace and artistic expression, attracting visitors from around the world, and it is just one of the many top tourist attractions in Prague. John Lennon’s wall is among Prague’s most photographed spots, yet the musician never made a trip to the city.
Why is this well-known, graffiti-covered wall dedicated to a performer who never came to the capital? Why does Prague have a John Lennon Wall? Continue reading to find out the answers to all these questions, as well as more information about this odd and beloved location.
John Lennon, among the greatest musicians of all time and a founding member of the seminal Liverpool band The Beatles, has served as a figure of the peace movement ever since the 1970s, thus the wall paintings about John Lennon. His tragic death enhanced his reputation throughout the turbulent Cold War era. The city of Prague was no different.
A Brief History of the John Lennon Wall in Prague
As its name implies, the John Lennon Wall is just a city wall covered with ever-changing graffiti. A wall allowing free speech takes its inspiration from the figure of John Lennon and isn’t protected in any way.
In 1980 assassins killed the former member of the Beatles in New York. After the unfortunate death of a famous musician, people all across the world took to protesting the government using various slogans, some of which appeared on a secluded wall in Prague.
Lennon’s work, along with that of several other Western artists, was prohibited by the communist authorities in both the Central and Eastern parts of Europe because of his iconic status as a figure of the solidarity movement. Even in communist Czechoslovakia during Gustáv Husák’s administration, paying homage to freedom wasn’t well received.
The officials painted up the graffiti, but it returned shortly after. Messages and pacifist paintings continued to be a cause of annoyance for the administration from 1980 onward. The statements he left behind were a mix of Lennon and The Beatles song lyrics and motivational and activist slogans for global peace. For many younger Czechs, the wall paintings about John Lennon in Praha was a personal sign and marked the beginning of a period of awakening.
That’s why, in the 1980s, the area became known as the John Lennon Wall, a living tribute to the singer’s legacy and a site where people could express their beliefs in the importance of issues like peace, ecology, and unity through graffiti.
In the present day, anybody can put their imprint or statement on this peculiar wall.
Wall paintings about John Lennon
What is on the John Lennon Wall? The wall paintings about John Lennon are always being updated with fresh paintings, phrases, and other forms of artistic expression. For the same reason that it serves as a platform for open dialogue, it has been exploited by self-promotional groups.
For example, in honor of Earth Day on April 22, 2019, members of the environmental group Extinction Rebellion spray-painted a huge skull and climate change-related messages on a wall.
The John Lennon Wall, Where is it?
Malá Strana, a bohemian neighborhood west of the renowned Moldau (Vltava) in Prague, is home to the John Lennon Wall.
Just across Charles Bridge from the Old Town, right on the left side of a tiny interior square, you will find the wall facing the Buquoy mansion, which houses the French Embassy.
Velkopřevorské Náměstí is the precise street address of the wall paintings about John Lennon in Praha. The Czech Grand Priory of the Order of the Knights of Malta owns the Lennon Wall as well as the neighboring church of Our Lady Beneath the Chain. The temple’s unusual name is a reference to the chains that once hung from the original Judith Bridge, which prevented untaxed boats from passing under it and accessing the river.
Visit the John Lennon Wall
Stop by the John Lennon wall the next time you’re in Prague. After witnessing the wall paintings about John Lennon Praha, head over to the John Lennon Bar (Hroznová 495/6), where you’ll find plenty of memorabilia from the Liverpool performer and other British legends. It serves traditional English cuisine and has a nice interior garden.