Friday March 20th 2020 | Prague

Why is there a John Lennon wall in Prague?

Why is there a John Lennon wall in Prague?

There are many visitors who, when contemplating the John Lennon wall during our free tour of Prague Castle, ask us if there was any relationship between this city and the musician. The truth is that no, at least not directly.

However, this does not prevent this magical place from being consecrated as a place of pilgrimage for all John Lennon and Beatles fans. How did a discreet wall in the most beautiful neighborhood of Prague become an icon of world fame? We tell you right away!

 

Lennon's Wall, a monument to freedom


The story begins in 1980, when Lennon is murdered in the entrance of his centrally located New York apartment. The tragic news spread like wildfire and in a few hours thousands of fans took to the streets to say goodbye to their idol all over the world. However, in Prague these spontaneous tributes were forbidden, just like the music of the Beatles or of Lennon himself. The reason was political.

In those years, in the middle of the Cold War, Czechoslovakia lived under the aegis of the Soviet Union, which ruled a dictatorship with an iron fist and did not look kindly on this kind of music. Besides its western origin, the authorities considered the message of the songs problematic.

 

Many of their lyrics spoke of peace, of freedom, something that frightened many of these leaders who did not want to see their youth "corrupted" by proclamations that they considered openly subversive.

 

Thus, many young people saw music as a vehicle for protest and rebellion, and the death of John Lennon acted as a catalyst for that discontent. On the very day of his murder, in the early hours of the morning, someone drew the artist's face on a wall in a street in the Malá Strana neighborhood.

A small opening to freedom of expression


Lyrics, political slogans and slogans began to proliferate around his image. The authorities reacted by painting the wall white over and over again, but the paintings with pacifist overtones and demands for freedom quickly returned.

The installation of security cameras was useless, that war was lost. In the end, and to prevent discontent from escalating, the government decided to allow this small space to become a symbol of freedom of expression.

To this day, the spirit that saw the birth of this initiative is as alive as it was then. Hundreds of people come every day to Lennon's wall ready to leave their particular message or simply to admire one of the most famous icons of Prague today.

 

Discover the Lennon wall and other must-see places in Prague!


Do you want to know this monument from the hand of professional guides? Book your place on our tours and get closer to the contemporary history of the city in a pleasant way, you won't regret it!

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