Continuing from my previous post on the State Historical Museum, I wish to again talk about the Red Square and its amazing history. Next up on the discussion list is none other than Lenin’s Mausoleum. Lenin’s Mausoleum might be familiar to most – it is situated on the left of the State Historical Museum, taking the foreground of a yellow domed Senate Building that stands behind the kremlin walls, with the Senate Tower built right into the walls.
Lenin’s Mausoleum is the resting place (as of now), for Lenin’s embalmed body. The mausoleum is open for visitors – I recalled awaiting at the entrance of the mausoleum as solemn guards took their position inside the dark space. Much respect had to be shown – typically all electronic equipment were checked, and no photography, videos, etc were allowed. After a series of serious checks, watchful eyes followed as you enter. A surreal silence pervaded despite the many people walking in line into the mausoleum. I was intrigued as historical facts raced in my mind … but let’s leave that for you to experience when you visit Moscow.
For those who might wish to visit, you might want to know before-hand that you should never stick your hands in your pockets, fold your arms, wear a hat/hoodie or whatever when entering the mausoleum. I recall a Russian friend telling me to “keep your hands to yourselves” and not touch even the inner walls within. This clearly is no surprise – as in every state, ideology or the likes of it, one must show respect to others’ culture, belief and history. Notably, the State went through extensive measures to preserve the body and restore the mausoleum alike. As a note of history, the original mausoleum was that of typical wood, only converted to a stone tomb in the 1930s. The body has also been carefully preserved with great scientific means that I shall not (and cannot, with my limited scientific knowledge) discuss here.
Stalin shared the tomb from 1953 – 1961 until de-Stalinization began during Khrushchev’s era – his body was then re-buried at the Kremlin Wall Necropolis. Tombs of various prominent figures such as Kalinin, Brezhnev, Andropov and more line the Kremlin Wall behind the Mausoleum – a sight one could not miss after exiting the mausoleum.
Years have passed and many have debated the burial of Lenin in ground. I am conflicted in my opinion for that. The mausoleum stands in magnificence, reminding many of the history of Russia and beyond; but a man has got to be put to rest in peace. We’ll leave the decision to those who have the power to make it – but for those of you who might be interested to visit – don’t wait no more!