Lenin’s Mausoleum on red square.
Many people know Vladimir Lenin as the Father of the Russian Revolution. When he died in 1924, the Soviets decided to have him embalmed and to put his body in a glass coffin for all to see. First it was a wooden mausoleum but in 1929 it was replaced by the current building, now known as – Lenin’s Mausoleum.
The building harmonizes quite well with the rest of the Kremlin. It is build in a pyramid style and made from layers of red, grey and black granite. I first saw it in 2008 when I visited Moscow.
Is Lenin’s body fake?
People often ask:” Is Lenin’s body fake?” Rumors about his body have been swirling for many years. Some believe it is a wax model lying in the glass coffin. Lenin’s embalmed body has been preserved since he died in 1924. How well is his body preserved? Somebody wrote that he is not the freshest of corpses but then again he has been lying there for almost 90 years!
One traveller to Lenin’s Mausoleum described it like this:
You first see Lenin from his right side, and he is laid out in a dignified pose. His hand is still clenched, but not in a political symbol, it was because of the strokes he suffered prior to his death.
Another visitor had this opinion:
Lenin looked like a wax figure and no one is allowed to actually stop, so you are in and out in about 20 seconds. You walk around the figure on 3 sides, from a distance of about 8 feet. Our guide believes it is a wax figure, as Lenin was dead for 6 years before being put on display in the mausoleum.
Who knows. I believe it is the real Lenin lying in the glass coffin but people will always speculate.
[ale_alert style=”green”] Warning: There are very dark steps at the entrance, so be careful when you go down. [/ale_alert]
Lenin and Stalin bodies
Lenin and Stalin were lying side-by-side until 1953 when it was decided that Stalin should move to another place in the mausoleum. It is not surprising because many believed that he had a hand in the death of Lenin by poisoning him.
Here you can find bodies and ashes of communist including celebrities and dignitaries that are interred under and in the Kremlin wall behind the tomb. Famous names include: Marshal Zhukov, cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin and Lenin’s lover Inessa Armand.
Is Lenin’s Mausoleum closed?
Lenin’s mausoleum was closed since 2012 for urgent repairs. A white tent covered it during the time to protect against the weather and to give builders an opportunity to work on it. The foundation of the building was sagging and needed repair work done. In May 2013 it re-opened it`s doors to the public.
LENIN MAUSOLEUM HOURS
Lenin’s Mausoleum is opened daily from 10.00 to 13.00. It is closed on Mondays and Fridays.
[ale_alert style=”green”] Entry is free but leave large bags, cameras and cell phones with a companion or check them in at the office by the State Museum. Security is tight and you are ushered a long very quickly. Take your hat off, don`t put hands in your pockets and be respectful at all times.They are very strict about this. [/ale_alert]
Visiting Lenin’s Mausoleum
I had various opportunities to visit Lenin`s Mausoleum but I didn`t.
Sure, Lenin was a legend but he was also responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent people during the Revolution. It was also under his order that the last Czar and his family were murdered and then later covered up. Honestly, why would I want to see him lying there in his glass coffin? I have absolutely no desire and the only thing that will drive me is curiosity.
There are many people in Russia that feel the same and the fact that Lenin`s Mausoleum is still on Red Square is a thorn in the side for many. No longer do you find eager citizens queuing to see him. In fact when there is a military parade, you will often see the tomb camouflaged underneath a flag or decorations. To move it, is not that easy. You cannot erase a part of history and where do you put him? It will cost a lot of money that can be used where needed.
However, I do agree with the sentiment of many. Give the poor man peace and lay him to rest in a cemetery. I know it is only a body but to be stared at for 90 years is too much.
That is my personal opinion. For the rest who really want to see him – it is often described as a “morbid necessity”.