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Lenin's Mausoleum in Moscow





Interest in the old styles was briefly reawakened during the 1800s, but with the 20th century came the Russian Revolution -- and a revolution in the visual arts. The avant-garde Constructivist movement celebrated the industrial age and the new socialist order. Stark, mechanistic buildings were constructed from mass produced components.

Designed by Alexei Shchusev, Lenin's Mausoleum has been described as a masterpiece of architectural simplicity. The mausoleum was originally a wooden cube. The body of Vladimir Lenin, founder of the Soviet Union, was displayed inside a glass casket. In 1924, Shchusev built a more permanent mausoleum made of wooden cubes assembled into a step pyramid formation. In 1930, the wood was replaced with red granite (symbolizing Communism) and black labradorite (symbolizing mourning). The austere pyramid stands just outside the Kremlin wall.