One truly amazing stop to make on a trip through Prague is the John Lennon Wall. This giant wall is only a short walk from the city center and is covered in colorful graffiti, art, and handwritten messages. Not only is it easy to get to, but because it is just a wall, it is free to the public. While the beautiful art of the wall provides for a great backdrop of photos, the wall is worth visiting for more than just a couple of snapshots.
Flickr photo via Avital Pinnick
What used to be an ordinary slab of cement became vibrant with color starting in the 1980’s. Students and youth who felt the suffocating pressure of the communist regime spray painted pictures of John Lennon and messages inspired by the Beatles’ songs. The Beatles’ songs spoke of freedom and love—something that the Czech people did not always have the privilege to under the communist government. This piece of cement became a place where the people could voice their opinions and express their ideas and dreams, even if it meant risking arrest. The communist government would continually paint over the graffiti, but the very next day there would be more. The messages of peace and freedom couldn’t be stopped.
Flickr photo via redhope
The Lennon Wall eventually helped lead to the Velvet revolution. A peaceful revolution of the Czech people that eventually lead to the fall of the Communist party in 1989. So while the wall is a beautiful backdrop with all of it’s colors, it more importantly holds so much recent history. It is amazing to think that something so simple, such as expressing oneself through art and poetry on a cement wall, could do such great things.
Even today, the wall is a universal symbol of love, peace and freedom. Recently, there were drawings of Umbrella’s for the Umbrella Revolution and protests in Hong Kong. People from all over the world visit the wall and add their own thoughts and hopes to it.