John Lennon’s wall
Prague’s John Lennon’s Wall draws crowds of visitors every single day. Many people stop to take some pictures or leave there their own message. But how did all of this start?
The history goes back to 60’s when people left different messages on this wall, mostly protesting against communist regime. Because of that, the wall received in the 70’s a nickname – Wailing Wall. Besides some anti-regime messages people often wrote some romantic short poems on it.
After the death of John Lennon people, used an empty stone board (originally part of Prague’s water conduit) to create a symbolic grave for John Lennon. People often brought flowers and candles to this symbolic grave, commemorating this freedom fighter and symbol of peace. In the 80’s people started leaving on this wall some basic info about John Lennon and bits of his songs, as well as Beatles’ songs. As you can imagine, this wasn’t really welcomed by the communist regime, therefore in 1981 the wall was painted over in green paint. This act angered a lot of people, therefore the messages left on the wall dramatically changed. Romantic poems and songs were changed for political and anti-communist messages. As you can imagine, it became a small fight between the regime (painting over the wall) and people who were painting on a wall again and again.
After the fall of communism in 1989 it became a symbol of freedom, and everybody is now allowed to write on this wall. So the wall changes every single day. In post-communist history John Lennon’s wall was painted over just twice – the first time in year 2000, when an art group Rafani painted it over in white with one only word – LOVE. It was a symbolic answer on that time’s complicated political situation.
The second time it was painted over in white was in November 2014 by an art group called Pražská služba, who left on the wall only one message – WALL IS OVER (which referred to the 25th anniversary of the collapse of Berlin wall as well as Lennon’s song “War is over” from 1971). At this moment it almost ended up in court, because angered Czechs and the owners of the wall said that these vandals had destroyed a precious piece of cultural heritage. Finally it ended up with an official apology from Pražská služba, after which the owner stopped the complaint being sent to the municipal court.
Address: Velkopřevorské náměstí, Prague
Map. Ref.: 50.0861103, 14.4067678