• 001 - the logo.jpg
  • 002 - Hiroshima sunset.jpg
  • 003 - Auschwitz-Birkenau ramp.jpg
  • 004 - Chernobyl contamination.jpg
  • 005 - Darvaza flaming gas crater.jpg
  • 006 - Berlin Wall madness.jpg
  • 007 - Bulgaria - monument at the bottom of Buzludzhy park hill.jpg
  • 008 - Ijen crater.jpg
  • 009 - Aralsk, Kazakhstan.jpg
  • 010 - Paris catacombs.jpg
  • 011 - Krakatoa.jpg
  • 012 - Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, Hanoi.jpg
  • 013 - Uyuni.jpg
  • 014 - DMZ Vietnam.jpg
  • 015 - Colditz Kopie.jpg
  • 016 - Glasgow Necropolis.jpg
  • 017 - Hashima ghost island.jpg
  • 018 - Kazakhstan.jpg
  • 019 - Arlington.jpg
  • 020 - Karosta prison.jpg
  • 021 - Kamikaze.jpg
  • 022 - Chacabuco ghost town.jpg
  • 023 - Eagle's Nest, Obersalzberg, Berchtesgaden.jpg
  • 024 - Kursk.jpg
  • 025 - Bran castle, Carpathia, Romania.jpg
  • 026 - Bestattungsmuseum Wien.jpg
  • 027 - Pripyat near Chernobyl.jpg
  • 028 - Sedlec ossuary, Czech Republic.jpg
  • 029 - Pyramida Lenin.jpg
  • 030 - Falklands.jpg
  • 031 - Majdanek.jpg
  • 032 - Soufriere volcano, Montserrat.jpg
  • 033 - moai on Easter Island.jpg
  • 034 - Sidoarjo.jpg
  • 035 - Hötensleben.jpg
  • 036 - Natzweiler.jpg
  • 037 - Polygon, Semipalatinsk test site, Kazakhstan.jpg
  • 038 - Srebrenica.jpg
  • 039 - Liepaja, Latvia.jpg
  • 040 - Vemork hydroelectric power plant building, Norway.jpg
  • 041 - Enola Gay.jpg
  • 042 - Pentagon 9-11 memorial.jpg
  • 043 - Robben Island prison, South Africa.jpg
  • 044 - Tollund man.jpg
  • 045 - Marienthal tunnel.jpg
  • 046 - Aso, Japan.jpg
  • 047 - Labrador battery Singapore.jpg
  • 048 - Artyom island, Absheron, Azerbaijan.jpg
  • 049 - Treblinka.jpg
  • 050 - Titan II silo.jpg
  • 051 - dosemetering doll, Chernobyl.jpg
  • 052 - Holocaust memorial, Berlin.jpg
  • 053 - Komodo dragon.jpg
  • 054 - cemeterio general, Santiago de Chile.jpg
  • 055 - Tuol Sleng, Phnom Phen, Cambodia.jpg
  • 056 - West Virginia penitentiary.jpg
  • 057 - ovens, Dachau.jpg
  • 058 - Derry, Northern Ireland.jpg
  • 059 - Bulgaria - Buzludzha - workers of all countries unite.jpg
  • 060 - Sachsenhausen.jpg
  • 061 - Tiraspol dom sovietov.jpg
  • 062 - modern-day Pompeii - Plymouth, Montserrat.jpg
  • 063 - Pico de Fogo.jpg
  • 064 - Trinity Day.jpg
  • 065 - Zwentendorf control room.jpg
  • 066 - Wolfschanze.jpg
  • 067 - Hiroshima by night.jpg
  • 068 - mass games, North Korea.jpg
  • 069 - Harrisburg.jpg
  • 070 - Nuremberg.jpg
  • 071 - Mostar.jpg
  • 072 - Tu-22, Riga aviation museum.jpg
  • 073 - Gallipoli, Lone Pine.jpg
  • 074 - Auschwitz-Birkenau - fence.jpg
  • 075 - Darvaza flaming gas crater.jpg
  • 076 - Atatürk Mausoleum, Ankara.jpg
  • 077 - Banda Aceh boats.jpg
  • 078 - AMARG.jpg
  • 079 - Chacabuco ruins.jpg
  • 080 - Bucharest.jpg
  • 081 - Bernauer Straße.jpg
  • 082 - Death Railway, Thailand.jpg
  • 083 - Mandor killing fields.jpg
  • 084 - Kozloduy.jpg
  • 085 - Jerusalem.jpg
  • 086 - Latin Bridge, Sarajevo.jpg
  • 087 - Panmunjom, DMZ, Korea.jpg
  • 088 - Ijen blue flames.jpg
  • 089 - Derry reconsilliation monument.jpg
  • 090 - Ebensee.jpg
  • 091 - Mödlareuth barbed wire.jpg
  • 092 - skull heaps in Sedlec ossuary, Czech Republic.jpg
  • 093 - Nikel.jpg
  • 094 - Fukushima-Daiichi NPP.jpg
  • 095 - Tital launch control centre.jpg
  • 096 - Dallas Dealy Plaza and Sixth Floor Museum.jpg
  • 097 - Auschwitz I.jpg
  • 098 - Stalin and Lenin, Tirana, Albania.jpg
  • 099 - Malta, Fort St Elmo.jpg
  • 100 - Peenemünde.jpg
  • 101 - Tarrafal.jpg
  • 102 - Kilmainham prison, Dublin.jpg
  • 103 - North Korea.jpg
  • 104 - Mittelbau-Dora.jpg
  • 105 - St Helena.jpg
  • 106 - Stutthof, Poland.jpg
  • 107 - Merapi destruction.jpg
  • 108 - Chueung Ek killing fields, Cambodia.jpg
  • 109 - Marienborn former GDR border.jpg
  • 110 - Mig and star, Kazakhstan.jpg
  • 111 - Nagasaki WWII tunnels.jpg
  • 112 - Hellfire Pass, Thailand.jpg
  • 113 - Kiev.jpg
  • 114 - Grutas Park, Lithuania.jpg
  • 115 - Zwentendorf reactor core.jpg
  • 116 - two occupations, Tallinn.jpg
  • 117 - Trunyan burial site.jpg
  • 118 - Ushuaia prison.jpg
  • 119 - Buchenwald.jpg
  • 120 - Marienthal with ghost.jpg
  • 121 - Murmansk harbour - with an aircraft carrier.jpg
  • 122 - Berlin Olympiastadion.JPG
  • 123 - Bastille Day, Paris.jpg
  • 124 - Spassk.jpg
  • 125 - Theresienstadt.jpg
  • 126 - B-52s.jpg
  • 127 - Bledug Kuwu.jpg
  • 128 - Friedhof der Namenlosen, Vienna.jpg
  • 129 - Auschwitz-Birkenau barracks.jpg
  • 130 - mummies, Bolivia.jpg
  • 131 - Barringer meteor crater.jpg
  • 132 - Murambi, Rwanda.jpg
  • 133 - NTS.jpg
  • 134 - Mauthausen Soviet monument.jpg
  • 135 - pullution, Kazakhstan.JPG
  • 136 - palm oil madness.jpg
  • 137 - Berlin socialist realism.jpg
  • 138 - Okawa school building ruin.jpg
  • 139 - Pawiak, Warsaw.jpg
  • 140 - flying death, military museum Dresden.JPG
  • 141 - KGB gear.JPG
  • 142 - KZ jacket.JPG
  • 143 - ex-USSR.JPG
  • 144 - Indonesia fruit bats.JPG
  • 145 - Alcatraz.JPG
  • 146 - Chernobyl Museum, Kiev, Ukraine.JPG
  • 147 - Halemaumau lava lake glow, Hawaii.JPG
  • 148 - Rosinenbomber at Tempelhof, Berlin.jpg
  • 149 - Verdun, France.JPG
  • 150 - hospital, Vukovar, Croatia.JPG
  • 151 - the original tomb of Napoleon, St Helena.JPG
  • 152 - Buchenwald, Germany.JPG
  • 153 - Bhopal.JPG
  • 154 - Groß-Rosen, Poland.jpg
  • 155 - at Monino, Russia.jpg
  • 156 - blinking Komodo.jpg
  • 157 - inside Chernobyl NPP.JPG
  • 158 - Mount St Helens, USA.JPG
  • 159 - Maly Trostenec, Minsk, Belarus.jpg
  • 160 - Vucedol skulls, Croatia.JPG
  • 161 - colourful WW1 shells.JPG
  • 162 - Zeljava airbase in Croatia.JPG
  • 163 - rusting wrecks, Chernobyl.JPG
  • 164 - San Bernadine alle Ossa, Milan, Italy.jpg
  • 165 - USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.JPG
  • 166 - Brest Fortress, Belarus.JPG
  • 167 - thousands of bats, Dom Rep.JPG
  • 168 - Hohenschönhausen, Berlin.JPG
  • 169 - Perm-36 gulag site.JPG
  • 170 - Jasenovac, Croatia.JPG
  • 171 - Beelitz Heilstätten.JPG
  • 172 - Kremlin, Moscow.jpg
  • 173 - old arms factory, Dubnica.JPG
  • 174 - Pervomaisc ICBM base, more  missiles, including an SS-18 Satan.jpg
  • 175 - Cellular Jail, Port Blair.jpg
  • 177 - control room, Chernobyl NPP.JPG
  • 178 - Podgorica, Montenegro, small arms and light weapons sculpture.jpg
  • 179 - Vught.jpg
  • 180 - Japanese cave East Timor.jpg
  • 181 - Ani.jpg
  • 182 - Indonesia wildfire.jpg
  • 183 - Chacabuco big sky.jpg
  • 184 - Bunker Valentin, Germany.JPG
  • 185 - Lest we Forget, Ypres.JPG
  • 186 - the logo again.jpg

Lenin mausoleum

   
   - darkometer rating:  7 -
  
One of the "Big 4" mausoleums of deceased communist leaders. This one, in Russia's capital Moscow, is "the original", the first one, which all the others are modelled on. 

>More background info

>What there is to see

>Location

>Access and costs

>Time required

>Combinations with other dark destinations

>Combinations with non-dark destinations

   
More background info: Lenin was the leader of the Russian Revolution and first head of the resultant Soviet Union until his untimely death in 1924 (aged only 53 – see Gorky Leninskiye). 
  
Under his successor Stalin, attempts were made to preserve the corpse, and once the pioneering embalming process had been successful, the body was put on public display, first in a simple temporary mausoleum made of wood, later replaced by the current structure. Lenin's body has over the many years since his demise needed a lot of attention by an expert team responsible for the preservation of the corpse. The constant monitoring and re-embalming of the body, basically regular baths in a vat of preservatives, has cost his country dearly over the years, but what's a few million if it's for the preservation of the empty shell of the man who is arguably communism's greatest saint (alongside Marx, of course, who's buried in a conventional grave at Highgate cemetery in London).
 
The most infamous of all Soviet leaders, Josef Stalin, shared the mausoleum with Lenin for a while, from his death in 1953 until 1961, when he was removed and buried by the Kremlin Wall, like other Soviet leaders after him (except Khrushchev, who's at Novodvichy).
 
The embalming technique developed for Lenin was later exported to Vietnam and North Korea for the preservation of their respective deceased leaders, Ho Chi Minh and Kim Il Sung (and later presumably Kim Hong Il too), while Mao's body was preserved with the help of Vietnam, quasi by second-hand know-how (at a time when the Soviet Union and China weren't on speaking terms). The Russians remain the world's experts in the art, though – and allegedly the honour of such a preservation has also been extended to some millionaires (and/or mafiosi).
 
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Lenin's continued post-death future was temporarily under threat. There were calls, notably by Boris Yeltsin, for removing Lenin and burying him elsewhere, properly, under ground, but these calls have meanwhile ebbed away. So it looks like Lenin's mausoleum will remain a major destination, for (dark) tourists and communism pilgrims alike.
 
 
What there is to see: Lenin, basically. You have to queue forever, then quickly shuffle through the dimly lit interior and past the glass coffin with Lenin's waxy-looking shell dressed in a suit and tie. You can't linger, you have to keep moving, so the encounter is a rather brief one. Nevertheless a momentous one. This is the Mother of all modern mausoleums of communist leaders on public display. A must-do for any dedicated dark tourist. Probably more so than any of the other three (although at least North Korea's Kim mausoleum, with its double occupancy, is actually leagues better than Lenin's!). Try and concentrate on taking the short moment in properly: you're encountering the body of a Big historical figure who changed the world more than most others. However, his body actually looks rather small …
 
Outside, take in the architecture of the mausoleum too – a red and black marble-clad step-pyramid, which may be smaller than any of the other "Big 4" but is more elegant. The top of the mausoleum served as the grandstand for the Soviet Politburo during the great military parades of the USSR – try and picture the grey clique atop Lenin's marble final abode … today, it's no longer so easy to conjure that image up in your head …
 
Next to the mausoleum itself is the Kremlin Wall necropolis of the other leaders of the Russian Revolution and Soviet communist General Secretaries, including Stalin and Brezhnev. They don't get the theatric appreciation that Lenin receives, but you could still have a peek …
 
 
Location: by the north-eastern wall of the Kremlin on Red Square, in the very centre of Moscow.
 
Google maps locator: [55.7537,37.6199]
 
 
Access and costs: easy to find and free, but expect to queue.
  
Details: very easy to get to – see Red Square; the mausoleum is right by the Kremlin Wall, the entrance is at the north-western corner of Red Square. You don't need a ticket, but expect long queues. No bags or photography allowed. If you don't have anyone to look after your stuff you have to deposit it at the left luggage facility by the Kremlin's visitor entrance. Appropriate attire and behaviour is a must. Guards are on hand to enforce this – and they're no jokesters!
 
Opening times: only Tuesday to Thursday and Saturdays (some sources say also Sundays, but I wouldn't rely on it), from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. – but note that every 18 months Lenin undergoes the full re-embalming treatment, which takes six weeks.
 
Admission free.
 
Time required: actually seeing Lenin only takes a couple of minutes – but queuing up can take seemingly forever. Make sure you have sufficient time – half a day if combining a visit to the mausoleum with the Kremlin.
 
 
Combinations with other dark destinations: see Moscow, especially Red Square.
 
 
Combinations with non-dark destinations: see Red Square, Moscow.
  
   
  
   
   
   
 

© dark-tourism.com, Peter Hohenhaus 2010-2019

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