Lenin’s Tomb

Lenin's tomb is an attraction of particular historical significance in Moscow. At this mausoleum in Red Square, the embalmed body of Vladimir Lenin has been displayed since his death in 1924. The Lenin Mausoleum is a large granite structure that is free of charge to visitors. Open five days a week (closed Monday and Friday), Lenin’s tomb attracts long lines of tourists who wait lengthy periods just for the chance to see this major Russian historical figure. As this attraction is only open for three hours, from 10 am to 1 pm, people making a trip to Moscow should plan ahead if they're hoping to see the body of Lenin.

Don’t bring your camera to the Lenin Mausoleum, as photos and videos are prohibited. Visitors will notice that the tomb is heavily guarded, and they should also be aware that traditionally visitors do not speak, and certainly do not smoke, when visiting the tomb. Debates about burying Lenin date back to his death, and continue today. For visitors who are interested in seeing the body of Lenin, it is advised to do so on your next trip to Moscow, as it is not guaranteed that the tomb will remain here long-term.

It was the request of many Russians at the time of Lenin’s death to preserve his body and have it on display. The tomb was originally built in Red Square to accommodate the many people who wanted to pay their respects to Lenin. During the next month and a half, more than 100,000 Russians came to the tomb to see the body of Lenin. Five years after his death, the original wooden tomb was replaced with the stone tomb seen today. Since then, millions of visitors have walked through the front entrance of the Lenin Mausoleum.

During Russia's history, there have been times when Lenin’s body was moved for protection. In 1941 the body of Lenin was moved to Siberia, when it was thought that Moscow might be in danger from the Nazis. Over time, preserving the body has proven to be a difficult task. Every eighteen months the body of Lenin is removed from the tomb for a chemical bath. The temperature and humidity level of Lenin’s tomb is strictly maintained to assist the preservation team’s efforts.

Controversially, when Stalin died in 1953, his body too was displayed in Lenin’s tomb. However, in 1961 the former dictator was removed from the mausoleum buried outside of the walls of the Kremlin. Visitors today are allowed to enter the tomb in groups of approximately twelve people. It has been said that cash may help you to cut the long line to view the body, but this may or may not be the case when you visit. When you do finally get inside, you’ll see Lenin’s real body, exhibited in a suit, in a sarcophagus. Red Square is especially busy on the days the tomb is open to the public, so perhaps visit on the other days of the week if you wish to see other attractions in the area, such as Saint Basil's Cathedral.

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