Monday, June 29, 2015

Moscow 2 - Lenin's Mausoleum

                 Lenin's portrait -  wall of metro station Biblioteka Lenina

The mausoleum  is situated in the Red Square, opposite the big, expensive GUM store. The father of communism in the same area with a symbol of capitalism !  Ironical. Across the mausoleum, people  at GUM (General Universal Magazine) are drinking coffee, licking ice-cream and... looking at the tomb of Lenin. A somewhat  weird scene.

Before entering  the mausoleum, you have to stand in a long queue; when you're in,  you start descending  narrow, black stairs you can hardly see because of the darkness around.  No handrail available. If it weren't for a japanese tourist couple who held me by my arms, perhaps I wouldn't have made it to the ground area.

Finally, a spot of light - it's Lenin. He looks quite well, like he is just asleep, with one fist clenched , the other open. The maintenance of his body is a combination of great art and science. Kudos to the russians for their skill and perseverence!

You are not allowed to take pictures or to stop; you have to keep moving  around the glass structure he's laid in, and then climb up and... out ( to the Kremlin wall necropolis where you pass by the graves of other prominent russian figures: Stalin, Brezhnev, Andropov, Gagarin...).
I felt an urge to raise my hand in a salute both outside the mausoleum and inside ,while watching his embalmed body. Great Man, a real statesman, one that had shaped russian and world history.

There have been debates on the possibility of his burrial, after 90 years of display.  My personal opinion is that they won't do it, they can't do it. It has become a major "attraction" to the world. Each year, millions of people come to see him. The Red Square will not be the same without him. A visit to Moscow is meaningless without a visit to the mausoleum. I suppose, he will eventually be buried when his body will no longer properly respond to the preserving procedures.


  1. I am not sure if I would like to see it. Consequences are visible in this part of Europe where I live are unfortunatelly visible until even now..

  2. Ola,

    I see what you mean. Lenin's theory was good but it just got distorted on the way.
    Communism is not all that bad (especially in the education field), and this comes from someone like me who knows both worlds: that of socialism/communism and that of capitalism.

  3. Fascinating Duta! An erie scene indeed. One i would love to visit one day. Thank you for your comments on my blog. I appreciate the feedback. :)

  4. Fascinating Duta! An erie scene indeed. One i would love to visit one day. Thank you for your comments on my blog. I appreciate the feedback. :)

  5. Ross Lynem,

    You're welcome.
    You should indeed visit the place someday. It has a lot of things that would interest you as a painter.

  6. So far your trip sounds interesting but I am not one to like to look at dead people so I am sure I would not have gone down those stairs. You are more adventurous than I (no railings, Yikes. ) I am glad you said a silent prayer for those who were in that horrible bombing. I wonder how many just walk on by without even reading the plaque. Peace

  7. Lady Di Tn,

    I sure can understand your reluctance, although Lenin is beyond what we usually call a dead person because of the many years of scientific and cosmetic treatments his body has undergone.
    I must admit, I am a bit curious and adventurous by nature. I've heard children may go down there too, with their parents of course. I've seen only a teenager with his father.

  8. This was very interesting. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  9. Linda O'Connell,

    Yes, russians have a lot of interesting things and Lenin's Mausoleum is outstanding because of the statesman he was, and because of the extraordinary effort to keep his embalmed body on display for over 90 years.

  10. Hi Duta,

    Your description of this place is very accurate and full of details. You give the impression as I should be there and see these wonderful pictures on live. It's a real pleasure to read this blog, wish you a lot of trips in the future ahead!


  11. Hi Silvie,

    Welcome to my little blog.
    Thanks for your comment. I'm glad that reading my post makes you feel as if you were actually there.

  12. Jennifer A. Jilks,

    History's in every corner; one can't escape it.It makes you go back in time, think and compare events and leaders.

  13. Interesting Duta! I am finally trying to catch up with my blogging.It has been a busy summer, not a lot of time for blogging. It is good to have you back. I missed your interesting posts. Looking forward to traveling with you again.

  14. I would really like to see him before they really do lay him in earth!
    Lenin was an okay guy in my humble opinion, I have a problem with Stalin... ;)

    I don't care what others say, Socialism and/or Communism can be done rights, it's the people in charge who corrupt the system (which ever system, democracy isn't perfect either)

    My parting words in honour of Lenin - Trust is good but control is better...

  15. Pink Panthress,

    I like your concluding sentence " Trust is good but control is better". Well said.
    As for Lenin, I consider him a great man, especially judging by all the politicians and "leaders" that we have today. And yes, Democracy isn't perfect at all.