Lenin's Mausoleum (from 1953 to 1961 Lenin's & Stalin's Mausoleum) (Russian: Мавзолей Ленина, tr. Mavzoley Lenina, IPA: [məvzɐˈlʲej ˈlʲenʲɪnə]), also known as Lenin's Tomb, situated on Red Square in the centre of Moscow, is a mausoleum that serves as the resting place of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin. His preserved body has been on public display there since shortly after his death in 1924, with rare exceptions in wartime. Alexey Shchusev's diminutive but monumental granite structure incorporates some elements from ancient mausoleums, such as the Step Pyramid, the Tomb of Cyrus the Great and, to some degree, the Temple of the Inscriptions.Lenin died on 21 January 1924. Two days later, architect Alexey Shchusev was tasked with building a structure suitable for viewing of the body by mourners. A wooden tomb, in Red Square by the Moscow Kremlin Wall, was ready on January 27, and later that day Lenin's coffin was placed in it. More than 100,000 people visited the tomb in the next six weeks. By August 1924, Shchusev had replaced the tomb with a larger one, and Lenin's body was transferred to a sarcophagus designed by architect Konstantin Melnikov.
Pathologist Alexei Ivanovich Abrikosov had embalmed Lenin's body shortly after his death and Boris Zbarsky and Vladimir Vorobiev were tasked with the ongoing preservation of the body. After graduating from Moscow University, Ilya Zbarsky became his father's assistant, and likened the work on Lenin's body to that of ancient Egyptian priests. In 1925, Boris Zbarsky and Vorobiev urged the government to replace the wooden structure after mold was found in the walls and even on the body itself. A new mausoleum of marble, porphyry, granite, and labradorite (by Alexey Shchusev, I.A. Frantsuz and G.K. Yakovlev) was completed in 1930. The mausoleum also served as a viewing stand for Soviet leaders to review parades on Red Square.
In 1973, sculptor Nikolai Tomsky designed a new sarcophagus.
On 26 January 1924, the Head of the Moscow Garrison issued an order to place the guard of honour at the mausoleum. Russians call it the "Number One Sentry". After the events of the Russian constitutional crisis of 1993, the guard of honour was disbanded. In 1997, the "Number One Sentry" was restored at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Alexander Garden.
Lenin's body was removed in October 1941 and evacuated to Tyumen, in Siberia, when it appeared that Moscow might be in danger of capture by German troops. After the war, it was returned and the tomb reopened.
More than 10 million people visited Lenin's tomb between 1924 and 1972.
Joseph Stalin's embalmed body shared a spot next to Lenin's, from the time of his death in March 1953 until October 1961, when Stalin was removed as part of de-Stalinization and Khrushchev's Thaw, and buried in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis outside the walls of the Kremlin.
Lenin's body was to have been transferred to the Pantheon upon its completion but the project was cancelled in the aftermath of de-Stalinization.