During the Communist regime in Prague, which lasted from February 1948 till November 1989, listening to Western music was a risky business. Records of bands like Beatles and Rolling Stones were not sold in stores, so people were smuggling them from the closest countries of the Western Block. Listening to songs about liberty and love provided an escape for people who lived under the Socialist rule.
John Lennon, as a musician and Human Rights activist, was especially popular among the Communist opposition. His appeal to "make love not war" resonated with the Czech population and created a huge fan base.
After John Lennon's death on the 8th of December 1980, a young Czech artist made a graffiti dedicated to John Lennon on this wall. More people supported this initiative and the plain white wall turned rainbow with quotes of John Lennon's songs and wishes for world peace. Since then, Lennon Wall became one of the centers of political protests against the communist regime and its oppression of freedom of speech. It all escalated during the Velvet Revolution protest in November 1989, when more than a million people flooded the streets of Prague to proclaim their independence from the oppressive regime.
Nowadays, John Lennon Wall is visited by thousands of tourists who leave their messages there. It even inspired the creation of another John Lennon Wall in Hongkong after its streets were taken by protests in summer 2019.
All the time. John Lennon Wall is a free to access type of monument.
Definitely try to visit during the day. The earlier in the morning you make it, the better. This is the one place in Prague where you can get creative with your photographs and selfies and there are fewer people visiting in the morning. You can also visit during the evening, but the street lamps don't provide enough light to see it well.
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Author: Valeriia Zahradnikova and Vaclav Zahradnik, Prague guides certified by Prague City Tourism agency. Valeriia and Vaclav have worked in tourism for over 6 years and have guided thousands of Prague visitors.