The John Lennon Wall, symbol of peace and freedom
The historic centre of Prague is one of the most popular destinations in Europe because of its unique architecture and cultural significance. However, there is a wall in the Mala Strana that has become famous and attracts more visitors every year. Everyone knows it by the name of “the John Lennon Wall”.
The wall is in a small square opposite the French embassy. First, with love poems and brief messages against the communist regime in the 1960s adorned the wall. After the assassination of John Lennon in 1980, the wall got its name, as a symbol of freedom and political struggle. It was then when someone painted on the wall the image of the songwriter and some of his lyrics.
Since then the wall has been constantly changing. The Lennon’s original portrait is no longer visible, lost under layers of new graffiti. Whenever in the past the authorities had tried to repaint the wall, the next day it was again full of poems, flowers and symbols. Besides the paintings, over the years, the wall has also been used for many political statements. For example, on April 22, 2019, Earth Day, the Extinction Rebellion action team repainted the entire wall. The movement Extinction Rebellion painted the wall with slogans calling for action on climate change and also encouraged the public to add their own messages.
The reconstruction of The John Lennon Wall
In October 2019, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Czech Velvet Revolution, a team of Czech and foreign professional artists assembled by Czech designer Pavel Stastny reconstructed and painted the wall. Since then, the wall operates under certain rules. Spraying is no longer allowed and people can leave their messages only in the white free zones.
Therefore, John Lennon Wall has become an internal symbol of free expression for the people of Prague. It has also become a popular and sometimes overcrowded tourist destination. However, it never loses its cultural significance. Definitely is something you should put on your bucket list during a visit to Prague.
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