The legendary John Lennon Wall in Prague is a top tourist attraction and a fantastic photo opportunity. Situated in Mala Strana, this historic wall has been filled with John Lennon-inspired graffiti and a collection of lyrics from Beatles’ songs since the 1980’s. The wall is an incredibly ‘cool’ place to visit for any music fan, and also comes with a rather interesting historical background…
The wall first became a political canvas in 1948, when people began challenging the communist takeover by covering the wall in protest phrases and symbols. Later on In the 1960’s it took the name of the “Crying Wall” and was covered in protest art, lyrics and messages more and more frequently, although the authorities regularly painted over it.
Everything about the wall changed on December 8th 1980. On this day, John lennon, co-founder of The Beatles, was shot dead in the archway of his New York apartment. The Crying Wall was then transformed into a place for people to grieve the loss of a legend, with a mural of him being painted on the wall almost instantaneously. This was the moment that the crying wall became the John Lennon wall.
In 1990 permission was granted for the graffiti to continue as a sign of respect to John Lennon. Over time there have been several occasions where the wall has been damaged.
On August 14th 2002, Prague saw the largest flood in more than 100 years, which caused part of the infamous John Lennon Wall to collapse, however it was later repaired. On November 17th 2014 an arts group protested that the wall had become un political and had no protest or artistic value. They covered the entire wall in white paint, covering up the bright colours and stencils of John Lennon, and left a message saying “Wall is Over”. This phrase has since been amended to “War is Over”.
The wall has continuously undergone changes, with the original portrait of Lennon long lost beneath hundreds of layers of paint. Today, the wall represents a ideals which were close to John Lennon’s heart such as love and peace.