Me in front of Lenin’s Mausoleum

The Red Square is rich in symbols of Russia’s turbulent and intriguing past and one of the first things that drew my attention was the red pyramid of Lenin’s Mausoleum. I just had to go inside and say “HI” to Lenin.

I stood in line early one Wednesday morning to get a chance to see Lenin. I have heard that sometimes you stand in line for more than an hour so I made sure to be there early. It was end of September and already starting to get cold in Moscow so I was wrapped up in a scarf and gloves as I waited.

Lenin’s Mausoleum

Once we were allowed to walk to the entrance I found out that I was not allowed to take anything in with me. I had to check in my phone and my bag with my camera inside. Then I had to walk through a metal detector, they are really worried that you are going to take a picture or do something to Lenin.

There was this little old man standing in line in front of me and he nearly started to cry when they told him he couldn’t take in his war medal, he just wanted to stand in front of Lenin wearing his medal, was so sad for him.

As I moved towards the mausoleum I passed the graves of all the other state figures and even the grave of Yuri Gagarin the first Russian in Space.

It is a tradition to bury Soviet heroes by the Kremlin walls.

I walked past a row of granite busts that were put here in 1919 after the death of one of the Revolution’s main leaders, Iakov Sverdlov. After sharing the Mausoleum with Lenin for a few yeas, Stalin’s body was moved to this area as well.

I was actually quite excited to see Lenin’s embalmed body.

Once I got inside the tomb everything went deathly quiet. There were guards standing all around and they made sure nobody said

Guard in front of Lenin’s Mausoleum

anything. We walked in a line and entered the main room where his body lies. We all shuffled along very slowly as you can’t stop and have a good look or stare at Lenin, you are constantly under the  watchful eyes of a couple of guards who made sure to keep us moving.

His body looks like a wax model just lying there in its glass case under this eerie yellow light. You can’t imagine that it’s actually a real dead person in there.

As soon as I walked through the mausoleum I was shown the way out and had to go and stand in line again to get back all my belongings. A couple of people who just walked through with me then bought some flowers and went and laid them at the front of the tomb.

This was a very eerie experience but definitely a highlight of Moscow so far.

Lenin’s Mausoleum