The Myths and Facts of the John Lennon Wall in Prague
From where to find it to the story behind the name, here’s everything you need to know about the John Lennon Wall in Prague
From Prague Castle and the Charles Bridge to Old Town Square and St Vitus Cathedral, Prague isn’t short of incredible sights to see. And one other to add to your Czech bucket list would be the iconic John Lennon Wall. The only place in the entire city where graffiti is deemed legal, this wall is a significant political and historical symbol.
What to expect…
Over the years, the wall has been painted over and decorated again and again, and it once even included a very large John Lennon mural of his face. Although now it does not contain the original artwork, the vibrant graffiti scrawl and images provide a super-cool backdrop for a tourist photograph. When visiting, if you are lucky, you can also expect to see and hear performers recreating Beatles songs and just around the corner there is a pub dedicated to John Lennon complete with a Beatles jukebox.
Where is the John Lennon Wall?
You can find the wall in Praha 1, Prague’s most central district, next to the French Embassy. It can be easily reached from the iconic Charles Bridge – simply take a stroll across to the other side of the bridge after visiting the sights in Old Town Square.
What is the history of the John Lennon Wall?
The wall was originally known as the ‘Crying Wall’, where people would come and out pour their frustrations with government and authority. During the Communism era, western pop songs such as the ones sung by The Beatles were actually banned – and people would even be imprisoned for playing them. The music spearheaded by John Lennon represented freedom and it captured the imagination of Prague’s youth. So, the name for the wall arose after John Lennon’s death in 1980, when people came in their droves here to mourn his death and celebrate all that he stood for. The widow of John Lennon, Yoko Ono even visited the wall in 2003.
Who owns the wall?
This particular wall isn’t owned by John Lennon’s family or the Czech government as some reports may lead you to think, but it is in fact owned by the Knights of the Maltese Cross.
What does the wall symbolise?
Some say that this wall is Prague’s equivalent of the Berlin Wall, in terms of it’s significance. With inspiring lyrics and positive messages plastered all over it, the wall undoubtedly symbolises freedom, free speech, peace and resistance against Communism.