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Lenin's Mausoleum

Moscow, Russia
1 of 0

Lenin's Mausoleum (Russian: Мавзоле́й Ле́нина; Mavzoléy Lénina) also known as Lenin's Tomb, situated in Red Square in the center of Moscow, is the mausoleum that serves as the current resting place of Vladimir Lenin. His embalmed body has been on public display there since shortly after his death in 1924 (with rare exceptions in wartime). Alexey Shchusev's diminutive but monumental granite structure incorporates some elements from ancient mausoleums, such as the Step Pyramid and the Tomb of Cyrus the Great.

On the night of January 23, architect Alexey Shchusev was given a task to complete within three days: design and build a tomb to accommodate all those who wanted to say their goodbyes to Lenin. On January 26, the decision was made to place the tomb in Red Square by the Kremlin Wall. By January 27, Shchusev built a tomb out of wood and at 4 p.m. that day they placed Lenin's coffin in it. More than 100,000 people visited the tomb within a month and a half. By August 1924, Shchusev upgraded the tomb to a bigger version. The architect Konstantin Melnikov designed Lenin's sarcophagus.

In 1929, it was established that it would be possible to preserve Lenin’s body for a much longer period of time. Therefore, it was decided to exchange the wooden mausoleum with the one made of stone (architects Alexey Shchusev, I.A. Frantsuz, and G.K. Yakovlev). Marble, porphyry, granite, labradorite, and other construction materials were used. In October 1930, the construction of the stone tomb was finished. In 1973, sculptor Nikolai Tomsky designed a new sarcophagus.

The building was erected out of rare, precious and durable materials. The mausoleum also served as a gallery, where the leading party officials watched the annual May Day Parade.

The building has a guard house, an administration building and a highly complex climate system.