When Vladimir Ilyich Lenin died in 1924 his widow insisted that no monuments should be raised to him, no great ceremony organized and that no buildings should bear his name. Lenin’s own wish was to be buried beside his mother in St Petersburg.
Stalin, typically, ignored Lenin’s wishes and his widow’s entreaties and decided his body should be embalmed, and displayed so that the proletariat could pay their respects to the great Soviet leader. A tomb was commissioned and Aleksey Shchusev designed the mausoleum as a step-pyramid of red granite cubes and black labradorite.
Lenin, lying in wax-like state, is well worth a visit, particularly as he may well get his wish for burial after 80 years. The visit is free but cameras cannot be taken into the mausoleum and, these days, some mobile phones are considered cameras. They must be checked into the left-luggage office at the Kutafya Tower.