Around Red Square

Lenin Mausoleum

Vladimir Lenin died on 21 January 1924 and despite his own wishes and the wishes of his widow, it was decided to embalm his body and put it on display on Red Square. The first wooden mausoleum was erected less than a week later and was then replaced by a larger version in the same year. The current marble and granite version was completed between 1929 and 1930.  It was designed by Aleksey Schusev and incorporates a viewing platform from where Communist Party elites once watched the parades on Red Square. During the War Lenin's body was removed to Tyumen for safety.  In 1953 Lenin was joined by Stalin, although his body was removed in 1961 during the de-Stalinisation policies of Khruschev. Since the fall of the Soviet Union there has been many debates as to whether it is time to bury Lenin, but so far no one has taken the decision to remove the body which has been lying in state now for almost 90 years.

To visit the mausoleum you must join the queue on the north-western entrance to Red Square (between the history museum and the Arsenalnaya Tower of the Kremlin).  It is free of charge.  Once you have been let into the closed-off section you will then have to hand in any cameras, phones and large bags at the left-luggage kiosk (for a small fee).  Then you can go through the security check and walk towards the mausoleum.  Once you are actually in the mausoleum you cannot talk and must just walk around the body in its glass case without stopping. Any derivations from these rules will result in you being shouted at by the guards!


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