Gorki Leninskie is probably only worth visiting for those who have a particular interest in Lenin. There isn’t anything overly
exciting there. That said, it’s not far from Moscow and is fairly easy to get to. Lenin began retreats to this estate in September 1918 after the assassination attempt by Faina Kaplan. On May 15th 1923 he moved here permanently and remained at the estate until his death on January 21st 1924. Gorki Leninskie was opened as a museum almost 25 years after his death on New Years Day 1949. The estate, known simply as Gorki before Lenin’s death, was founded in the 18th Century
and had a number of prominent owners until it was nationalized and made a retreat for the Bolshevik Party elite after the revolution. The Russian classical style mansion where Lenin lived was built by Napoleonic war hero Aleksei Pisarev in the 1830s. The last owner was Zinaida Morozova, widow of the Moscow industrialist Savva Morozov and later the wife of Moscow Mayor Reinbot.
To be honest,
Gorki Leninskie is nothing special. The centerpiece area consists of three relatively small buildings, of which only the neoclassical mansion could be considered pretty. There’s also a dirty pond and a little rotunda which are equally unimpressive. A tour of the main building, where Lenin lived, costs 50R ($1.85) for foreigners, 30R ($1.10) for Russians. There are some interesting things here, including some of Lenin’s personal effects: some letters he wrote, books he was reading, his various wheelchairs and his death mask. You also see the room where he eventually died. The tour is given only in Russian. On the final part of the tour you are taken to the garage and shown Lenin’s specially-made Rolls Royce car, which is probably the highlight of the whole place.
Also on the greater estate grounds is a museum that has Lenin’s things from his Kremlin office, moved to Gorki Leninskie in 1994. And at the entrance to the grounds is the Political History of Russia Museum 1918-1924. Opened in 1987 it was the last of many museums devoted to Lenin to be opened in the USSR.
The exhibits are incredibly boring, making the museum only worth visiting as a way to get a taste of the cult of personality that was built around the man. Entry to both these museums costs 50R ($1.85) for foreigners and 30R ($1.10) for Russians. In the grounds you can also see a statue that features eight men carrying Lenin’s corpse on their shoulders. In actual fact he was taken to Moscow by a train that can now be seen at Paveletsky Vokzal. There is another statue of Lenin in the park that is not unlike the multitude of other statues of Lenin that dot Russia.
Directions: To get there take bus or marshrutka no. 439 from Domodedovskaya metro station. The bus leaves roughly every half hour. Exit the metro at the end furthest from the city center, turn to the right, then take the stairs on the right up to street level. The bus stop is straight ahead about 15 meters. Get off the bus at the stop named “Baza”. It might be easier to ask the driver to stop there rather than watching for it. From the stop, walk back towards the Produkty and follow the lane behind it to the end. Then turn right and walk straight for about 50 meters and you’ll see the sign to the museum on your left. Open 10-17 Wednesday-Monday. Tel: 548-9309.
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