Sunday, 28 September 2014

The John Lennon Wall, Prague

Whitewashed countless times by the Secret Police, the John Lennon Wall never stayed empty long, flowers, portraits of Lennon himself and Beatles lyrics always reappeared by the following day. It has become a bit of a pilgrimage for backpackers these days. A normal wall on a secluded square in central Prague, opposite the French embassy, taken over by young Czech's who disliked the Communist regime airing their grievances on the very public wall.

John Lennon Wall July 2014


Lennon was a hero, to many, but especially to young Czech's in the 80's. When he was murdered on December 8th 1980 the original portrait of their hero was painted on this wall. Song lyrics added, and the youngsters would hang around the square playing Western music (some were even arrested just for listening to it). Post 1989, the portrait started to fade, owing to weathering and some lightweight graffiti leaving only the eyes of the original portrait. It didn't take long for visiting tourists to starting adding their own messages, often song lyrics, often politically focussed (when we were there, you could read messages about Syria & Ukraine). The Wall is now owned by the Knights of Malta who also attempted whitewashing it, but it continued to covered in Lennon images, messages of peace and general tourist graffiti.





I didn't really know what to expect from the Lennon Wall, it was definitely something I wanted to visit & was so excited when Nick told us that we were heading there. The place was packed, it was pretty difficult to find a spot on the wall to get even a photo without getting other's in it as well. There was a busker singing Beatles songs, which totally added to the atmosphere (even though he wasn't the best singer), and there were people with spray paint, and marker pens writing and painting the wall.

Aubrey and I were a bit downtrodden that we'd forgotten to get a marker, and that we didn't have any paint, but we stood behind people writing on the wall as they passed the marker around & asked if we could borrow it. We added our own messages to a tiny bit of white we found on the wall & photographed it, so we knew that we'd contributed to the Lennon Wall.

My tiny piece of graffiti on the Lennon Wall
The following day, with a day to kill in Prague & my not being particularly fond of the busy city Genevieve and I got the bus to the city centre & were really near the wall. I was surprised that my tiny bit of graffiti was still there, but the wall changes so quickly! It was much quieter that morning, even the busker wasn't there, but it meant we had time to really read through the messages on the wall, and check out the new graffiti that had appeared in the last day.

Whilst I didn't love every aspect of Prague, I definitely loved this place!





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28 comments:

  1. I could probably stand there for hours looking at everything on this wall. There's such beauty in how this came about!

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    1. After the first visit, a couple of us went back the second morning to look in detail at everything. I have so many photos of it!

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  2. I am so disappointed I didn't get to see this when in Prague last year, but definitely plan on going back and seeing next time. Thanks so much for sharing and for the #SundayTraveler link up

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    1. Really? It's pretty much right off the Charles Bridge, the opposite end from the Astronomical Clock!

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  3. I'm heading to Prague next weekend and this is near the top of my list of things to visit. I'm really looking forward to seeing it!

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    1. I hope you have a great time :)
      A friend of mine was in Prague last week and the wall looks entirely different than when I was there.

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  4. Wow I've been to Prague a few times but never once come across this wall - I'll have to head back because I love street art!

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  5. I just came back from seeing the wall. It is a great landmark to go see!

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    1. I bet it looked entirely different than when I saw it? It is definitely a great one to visit!

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  6. Looks like I was there only a couple of weeks after you! I liked visiting the Lennon wall too. I spend a good amount of time reading all the messages, while listening to a guy doing Beatles covers. I didn't like everything about Prague too, but this was cool. :)

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    1. Yeah, on the second day we went back and read a lot of messages.

      THANK YOU, I didn't like much about Prague, this aside! People look at me like I'm crazy when I say that, too!

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  7. Oh cool! What a wonderful living thing that is. I wonder how long your addition lasted? Nice line!

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    1. It's gone :( a friend was there a couple of weeks ago and the wall looks entirely different. To be honest, I was impressed it was still there when we went back the following morning :)

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  8. Neat! I was in NYC a couple weeks ago and saw his apartment, where he was shot, and of course the Imagine in Central Park...pretty busy spot!

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    1. No way! That's awesome. I really want to see that some day!

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  9. That wall is so cool! I hadn't heard about it, but it's nice to think of everyone remaking it again and again for so long.

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    1. Oh yes, for sure. It's so great, & actually there's less graffiti in the wrong places because of it :)

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  10. I missed this when I went to Prague! I love this kind of quirky attractions so I think a trip back is due!

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    1. Not to sound elitist, but I prefer things like this to being crushed by 8 million people trying to walk along the Charles Bridge at the same time as me!

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  11. I really like that this wall is a continuous work in progress and that people can contribute to it. That will show those people who keep trying to whitewash it.

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    1. Yeah, I think they've given up now. Which is great :)

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  12. I really wish I had gone out to visit this wall. It looks like something really great to slowly take in and read all the messages on it.

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    1. Considering you love Prague as much as I do (there really needs to be a sarcasm font) you'd probably have enjoyed this :)

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  13. I'm sorry we missed seeing this wall last year. I love the concept of redoing the wall. It would have been fun to write messages and read through what was written. It's another great reason to get back to Prague.

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    1. Isn't it a great one? I love it, and never need a new reason to go somewhere you love :)

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  14. What's not to love about Prague? It's awesome, especially the fountain of the two guys pissing hahaha :D

    -Raphael Alexander Zoren

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    1. I don't like Prague :( it's just..... too.... busy!!

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