Content by Sam Whitaker -
On a recent trip to Prague in the Czech Republic, I had the chance to see one of the coolest landmarks in Europe. While most people would probably expect me to say The Palace or The Charles Bridge, I thought the Lennon Wall was the coolest and most inspiring landmark by far. Previously a blank wall protecting the yard of a large home, the Lennon Wall is now one of the most visited sites in Prague.
The story of the wall dates back to the 1980s, when Gustáv Husák, then the president of Czechoslovakia and leader of Czechoslovakia’s Communist party, was leading the nation through some difficult times. He was trying to instill communist ideology on the nation, with increasing pressure from the USSR. The wall played an instrumental part in the history, as it was the site of “frustration venting” in the form of graffiti for many Prague citizens (mainly youth), who were struggling with the political climate in their country at the time.
John Lennon was introduced at the beginning of the walls’ existence. Lennon’s face was painted on the wall very early and despite being whitewashed multiple times by the police, they finally succeeded and gave up on trying to keep the wall white. At the time, Lennon was a symbol of love and peace to these people, a true believer in pacifism and a hater of communism. The era of Husák’s presidency in the Czech Republic was also the era of the Beatles, arguably the most popular band in the history of music. Led by Lennon himself, the songs seemed to speak to those troubled by the communism regime and offer hopeful advice for coping with difference. It’s no wonder why a bunch of Beatles lyrics have appeared and continue to appear on the wall.