A Good Match Photo Challenge: the Lennon Wall in Prague

Good matches: (1) Music, color, and protest. (2) This performer and John Lennon’s voices. (3) A shady area of Prague to listen to Beatles covers.

lennon wall 3
Dude sounded exactly like Lennon. It was spooky.

When you visit Prague, one of the must-sees is the Lennon Wall. Maybe you’ve heard a proverb that you can’t ever step in the same river twice? It’s the same with this wall, a Communist-era symbol of protest and peace. It will never look the same when you visit it. (You may have also heard that the pen is more powerful than the sword. In 1980s Prague, it was.) It will have been written, painted, sprayed, and Sharpie’d over a thousand times with the names of lovers, hash tags, uplifting quotes, and pleas to love and value yourself. Really, it’s rather positive nowadays.

Though touristy, the wall is out of the way enough in Prague 1 in a quiet, shady tree-covered lane that you can manage your own personal moment with it. It’s not as holy as the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, and you don’t stick messages to God inside, but you can speak your piece in the most ephemeral of ways to the passersby. And most likely, you will do so with a very good, Lennon-impersonating performer standing by regaling you with the best of one-man guitar covers.

Here’s a bit of history, via Wikipedia:

In 1988, the wall was a source of irritation for the communist regime of Gustáv Husák. Young Czechs would write grievances on the wall and in a report of the time this led to a clash between hundreds of students and security police on the nearby Charles Bridge. The movement these students followed was described ironically as “Lennonism” and Czech authorities described these people variously as alcoholics, mentally deranged, sociopathic, and agents of Western capitalism.

The wall continuously undergoes change and the original portrait of Lennon is long lost under layers of new paint. Even when the wall was repainted by some authorities, on the second day it was again full of poems and flowers. Today, the wall represents a symbol of global ideals such as love and peace.

Czechs also, in my experience, do not tend to understand the difference between English pronunciations of Lenin and Lennon.

Here’s the Lennon Wall in 1961 (by Neptuul)


and in 1993 (by Infrogmation of New Orleans)


A catchy Czech protest song dating to 1969 – the year of the Communist crackdown on the liberating Prague Spring – is “Ne” by Marta Kubišová.

In response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge.

Categories Photo Challenge, PragueTags , , , , ,

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