One of Prague’s less conventional tourist attractions is located in the heart of the Lesser Quarter: it is the John Lennon Wall, a wall entirely covered with murals, mostly inspired by Beatles songs, which have been layered and overlaid over time.
The John Lennon mural not only has a strong visual impact, it also has an important symbolic meaning: it is in fact a kind of open-air monument to peace and brotherhood.
Now almost entirely painted by tourists who want to leave a sign of their passage, it is certainly not representative of fervent Czech street art but is still beloved by the people of Prague for its history.
Take a break from the romantic medieval atmosphere of central Prague and discover its hippy streak by looking for this colourful little corner behind Kampa Island. Don’t forget to leave a quote, an inscription, a declaration of love or simply your initials.
Apparently, a Mexican student was the author of the first graffiti dedicated to John Lennon on what would later become known as the John Lennon Wall.
The famous Beatles leader had become a universal symbol of peace and brotherhood in the aftermath of his assassination; his message of hope and freedom had a strong hold on the young people of Prague, who were still living under a suffocating communist regime in the 1980s. Thus, graffiti, phrases and drawings inspired by the singer and his ideals began to multiply and were soon noticed, and frowned upon, by the communist regime, which felt they could have political connotations.
A paint battle then ensued between the young people of Prague, who were willing to continue painting the wall despite the bans, and the local police who periodically cleaned it up. This is why the wall is so loved by the people of Prague.
In 2014, it was a group of street artists who erased the paintings by covering them with white paint and the inscription ‘The wall is over’, which was later changed to ‘The war is over’.
Even today, the wall is still changing all the time, sometimes by street artists, more often by tourists who want to leave a mark of their passage.
Many tourists reach the mural via Grand Master’s Square (Velkoprevorské Namesti in Czech), so called because at number 4 is the former seat of the Grand Master of the Order of the Knights of Malta. It has a curious shape resembling a crescent or the letter C and is connected to the west with Maltese Square (Maltézské Námestí). If you are also just passing through, as you cross this square take a look at the beautiful buildings that overlook it.
Several embassies are located on Grand Master Square: admire the French one in particular, housed in the lovely Buquoy Palace.
The John Lennon Wall is located in the Lesser Quarter (Malá Strana). The nearest tram stop is Hellichova, from where lines 12 and 20 run.
City Card allow you to save on public transport and / or on the entrances to the main tourist attractions.