"If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there'd be peace." It's words like these that make us fall for John Lennon all over again. He became a symbol of peace and hope for the youth; especially the youth of Czechoslovakia. Although he himself never visited the country, many young Czech musicians gave away their freedom trying to play his songs during the communist revolution. Since civilians were being jailed as soon as they spoke against communism, the only way they could express their heartfelt plea was through art, and it all started from one graffiti portrait of Lennon on a wall, which is now known as the Lennon Wall in Prague.
After his untimely death in 1980, it was like the people had received newfound courage. The Lennon Wall graffiti artists were often 'night crawlers', meaning they would sneak out at dusk and sprawl famous Beatles lyrics or paint works of art under the moonlight; all done before the first rays of dawn broke out through the horizon. They were quite fearless, and even though there was a very real danger of being locked up, they still did not stop. The police failed to keep the wall clean for prolonged periods; such was the conviction of the youth of Czech who were inspired by a foreign musician.
Today, most of the old work of art is weathered away, and only the eyes of the original portrait, remain. The wall is said to be owned by the Maltese Knights who have kept the tradition alive, and anyone can express themselves through the language of art on this wall. You might think that it's just another graffiti wall like so many in New York, but you would be mistaken. The wall is so powerful, in fact, that it inspired the Velvet Revolution, which facilitated the fall of the communist regime of Czechoslovakia. Even now, if tourists stand in front of the wall, they become overwhelmed by its rich history, and can almost feel the people's struggles through its numerous layers of colors.You could easily find it opposite the French embassy or near Charles Bridge. If you ever visit Prague, do not leave without enjoying this treasure site.