The tomb monument known as V.I. Lenin’s Mausoleum is located on Red Square at the Kremlin walls, and it is entered through the checkpoint byNikolskayaTower.
Inside the building there is a vestibule and a memorial hall designed by I.I. Nivinsky with an area of 100 m2. The sarcophagus containing the body of V.I. Lenin that was constructed by K.S. Melnikov was replaced in 1945 by a sarcophagus constructed in a project by A.V. Shchusev and sculptor B.I. Yakovlev. In 1973, it was replaced by a bulletproof sarcophagus (head designer N.A. Myzin and sculptor N.V. Tomsky).
The first wooden mausoleum was constructed in a project by A.V. Shchusev for the funeral day of V.I. Ulyanov (Lenin) on 27 January 1924. This temporary version was shaped like a cube topped with a three-tiered pyramid and only stood until the spring of1924. Inthe second temporary wooden mausoleum, again created by Shchusev and installed in spring 1924, rostrums were added to the steps from two sides.
The third, present version is made of reinforced concrete with brick walls, a granite lining, and a finish of marble, labradorite and raspberry quartzite, and was made in 1929-1930 upon a project by A.V. Shchusev with a team of designers. New visitor rostrums appeared along the sides of the mausoleum in 1930 (architect I.A. Frantsuz). The mausoleum’s main rostrum was built in 1945. Renovation of the mausoleum was completed in 2013.
During the Great Patriotic War, the body of V.I. Lenin was evacuated toTyumenin July 1941 and returned toMoscowin April1945. In1953-1961, the mausoleum also contained the body of I.V. Stalin and was called The Mausoleum of V.I. Lenin and I.V. Stalin.
Entry to the mausoleum is free and during a visit one must abide by certain rules: while remaining silent and not lingering at the coffin, one is advised to go in a semicircle around the sarcophagus; it is forbidden to hold one’s hands in one’s pockets, and men must remove their hats. It is prohibited to have in one’s possession photo and video cameras, mobile telephones with cameras, or carry a bag, rucksack, packages, large metallic objects or bottles containing liquid (if necessary, a paid storage service is available in the building of the State Historic Museum).
The first wooden version of the mausoleum had no rostrums. Later on, the mausoleum was used as a rostrum on which Politburo and Soviet government figures and military leaders would appear, as well as honoured guests during various types of celebrations on Red Square (primarily parades on Labour Day and 7 November, and from 1965 also the parade on 9 May). Since 1997, leading government figures during parades stand on temporary, specially constructed rostrums. As of 2005, the mausoleum is closed and boarded off during celebratory events (parades, concerts).