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The Lennon Wall in Prague

Lennon Wall, Prague
Credit: Creative Commons/The painter

If you want to do something offbeat in Prague, you might want to check out the John Lennon Wall in Mala Strana, near the French Embassy. Though an ordinary wall in origin, it has gained significant historic importance over the years.

John Lennon was a pacifist hero to the young Czechs under the communist regime of Gustav Husak . The Czechs were banned from listening or playing Lennon songs which portrayed and gave voice to the idea of 'freedom'. Some even had to go to prison for playing his songs. After his death in the 1980's the wall was painted with Beatles graffiti and a portrait of Lennon. The communist government named these people as sociopaths, alcoholic's, mentally unfit and promoters of western capitalism. Their graffiti on the wall was termed as 'subversive activities against the state'. The wall never remained blank despite many efforts of the government to whitewash the wall. Posting of surveillance cameras and night guards did not stop the Czechs from expressing their sentiments on the wall. The wall became a forum for the Czechs to post their grievances against the communist regime. Some even believe that the wall was a catalyst for the non-violent 'Velvet Revolution' that overthrew the communist regime.

Today, the original image of Lennon is long lost under new layers of paint and imprinted with new images of Lennon. However, the wall still forms a platform for light graffiti and ideas of peace and love. The wall belongs to Knights of Malta, who tried several times to discourage the graffiti artists by whitewashing the wall. However, the graffiti continues to appear. The owners finally gave in to the inevitable and do not take the trouble of whitewashing the wall anymore.

There are many such offbeat sights in Prague that will reveal the hidden gems of the city on your holidays in Prague.

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