Red Square, Moscow, Russia
Lenin's Mausoleum Moscow Reviews
The Lenin Mausoleum Apr 06, 2010
Set in the middle of Red Square in front of The Kremlin wall, it looks like you should go in at the middle. In fact you have to go all the way back out through the Ressurection Gate and round the museum to the road at the other side of it.
It is only open between 10am and 1pm on Tuesday, Wednesday,Thursday,Saturday and Sunday.
When the Mausoleaum is open, this road up sealed off by police and barricades and you have to queue at the bottom of the road and wait for the security checkpoint to clear before being allowed up.We eneded up at the end of the barriers on the pavement, and it took about 15 minutes to get allowed through.
Although the Mausoleum is free to visit, they are VERY strict about taking cameras and mobiles with cameras into the gardens and Mausoleum. You have to check in all photography capable equipment at an office at the corner of the museum, and charged 20R for each item and given a tag for each to get them returned.
You then have to go through an airport style scanner, and if you set it off they go over you with a hand held one, and I ended up having to turn out everything in my pockets and jacket. They are not kidding when they say no photography.
Graves of the great and the good of Soviet society in the gardens, icluding Lenin's wife and sister, and a guy that wrote a nice book about him.
When you come to the Mausoleum itself, and enter it,it is quite dark, but you notice the police/militia at every corner, and they are quick to react to any sign of irreverance.
No talking,no hands in pockets and no stopping to gawp. you go up a small set of stairs and around the display case with the embalmed body of Lenin in it. He lies facing out to Red Square and the head and torso are propped upwards on cushions.
Kind of surreal looking and very waxy in appearance, but still you get the aura of someone that had such a profound effect on the history of the 20th Century. When the kids are asked what they did in the holidays they will be able to say they were taken to see an 80 year old corpse :O Have to wonder what sort of parent I am sometimes :D, but it interested me, and daughter had done a good deal on the subject in history at school.
If you try and stop, like my wife did as she was slightly ahead of us, the police are over right away to move you on. Coming out their is the same police presence with someone on the corner of each of the three stairways that take you back out.
Folowing the path round the back of the Mausoleum you come to the graves of the former Soviet presidents,from Stalin to Andropov. Wonder if they have left room for Gorbachov.
You have to walk down towards the far end of Red Square in the direction of St Basils, and on the wall here there is a memorial urn and plaque on the wall to the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin.
The path takes you out into Red Square and you have to walk back along it, though this time, on production of your tokens for the deposited cameras and phones, you can cut back in through the barriers in the square.
May seem a bit of a ghoulish 'attraction' but for anyone with an interest in history it really is a must. For all that there were plenty of tourists conspicuous, the majority of the people we came across as we queued to get in seemed Russian.
Photos limited for obvious reasons :D
Part of the The Moscow Times - April 2010 travel blog
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