The first wooden Mausoleum (designed by A. V. Shchusev) was erected on the day of the funeral of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Lenin) (January 27, 1924), had the shape of a cube, topped with a three-stage pyramid. It stood only until the spring of 1924.
In the second temporary wooden Mausoleum, erected in the spring of 1924 (designed by A.V. Shchusev), stands were added to the stepped volume on both sides. The initial design of the sarcophagus was recognized as technically difficult and the architect K. S. Melnikov developed and presented eight new versions within a month. One of them was approved and then implemented as soon as possible under the supervision of the author himself. This sarcophagus stood in the mausoleum until the end of the Great Patriotic War.
The laconic forms of the second Mausoleum were used in the design of the third, now existing version of reinforced concrete, with brick walls and granite facing, with marble, labrador and crimson quartzite (porphyry) trim (1929-1930, designed by A. V. Shchusev with a team of authors) ... Inside the building there is a lobby and a funeral hall, designed by II Nivinsky, with an area of 100 m². In 1930, new guest tribunes were erected on the sides of the Mausoleum (architect I. A. Frenchman), graves at the Kremlin wall were decorated.
During the Great Patriotic War, in July 1941, the body of V.I. Lenin was evacuated to Tyumen. It was kept in the current building of the main building of the Tyumen State Agricultural Academy (Republic Street, 7), on the second floor in room 15. In April 1945, the body of the leader was returned to Moscow.
In 1945, the central tribune of the Mausoleum was built. In the same year, when the interior of the Mausoleum was redesigned, the sarcophagus designed by KS Melnikov was replaced with a sarcophagus designed by AV Shchusev and sculptor BI Yakovlev . In 1953-1961, the body of IV Stalin was also located in the mausoleum, and the mausoleum was called "The Mausoleum of VI Lenin and IV Stalin."
Until a granite slab of a suitable size was found (uniquely large - a 60-ton labradorite monolith from the Golovinsky quarry of the Zhytomyr region), the inscriptions “Lenin” and "Stalin". According to eyewitnesses, in severe frosts, the old inscription "stood out" with hoarfrost through the inscriptions applied on top of it. In 1958, the slab was replaced by a slab with the inscriptions one above the other: "LENIN" and "STALIN". In 1961, the granite slab with the name of Lenin was returned to its original place. Simultaneously with the funeral of J.V. Stalin, an unfulfilled resolution was adopted on the future transfer of the sarcophagi of both leaders to the Pantheon.
In 1973, a bulletproof sarcophagus was installed (chief designer N.A.Myzin, sculptor N.V. Tomsky).
Until October 1993 at the Mausoleum there was a guard of honor No. 1, which changes every hour at the signal of the Kremlin chimes. In October 1993, during the constitutional crisis, post No. 1 was abolished. On December 12, 1997, the post was restored, but already at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Biochemist BI Zbarsky was engaged in embalming, who developed a recipe for a "balsamic liquid" in which Lenin's remains are immersed every 18 months. Zbarsky took care of the remains until his own death in 1954 . At the end of 1939, a research laboratory at the Mausoleum was created as part of the USSR Ministry of Health to solve scientific and practical problems and a set of problems associated with preserving Lenin's body. The issues of temperature and humidity of the atmosphere of the sarcophagus and the body, the composition of impregnating solutions, the content of preventive measures, the color of the skin, photo-registration of the volumes of the relief of the face and hands, the study of the processes of tissue destruction - this is an incomplete list of problems studied by this laboratory. According to the conclusion of the government commission created in 1990 by the Council of Ministers of the USSR to study the activities of the Research Laboratory, the body of V.I. Lenin can remain unchanged for more than a dozen years.
Since 1992, the Laboratory at the Lenin Mausoleum has been part of the All-Union Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (VILAR) and is called the Research and Training Center of Biomedical Technologies. Since 1993, financial assistance to scientists has been provided by the "Charitable Public Organization for the Preservation of the Lenin Mausoleum" (until 1999 - the "Independent Charitable Foundation" Lenin Mausoleum "). The statutory goal of the foundation is to preserve the Lenin Mausoleum as a historical monument and a masterpiece of world architecture and to ensure the safety of Lenin's body.
The laboratory staff embalmed Georgy Dimitrov (1949, Bulgaria), Marshal Khorlogiin Choibalsan (1952, Mongolia), Joseph Stalin (1953, USSR), Clement Gottwald (1953, Czechoslovakia), Ho Chi Minh ( 1969, Vietnam), Agostinho Neto (1979, Angola), President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, Lyndon Forbes Burnham (1985, Georgetown, Guyana), Kim Il Sung (1995, DPRK).
Following the example of Lenin's body, the bodies of the leaders of the communist parties and states, Sun Yatsen, Georgy Dimitrov, Clement Gottwald, Choibalsan, Enver Hoxha, Agostinho Netto, Lyndon Burnham, Ho Chi Minh, Mao Zedong and Kim Il by the beginning of the XXI century, only the last three survived  (see List of Embalmed Celebrities).
The first wooden version of the Mausoleum did not have a tribune. Its need arose only in connection with the large influx of visitors and the uttering of mourning speeches. Therefore, the following projects of the Mausoleum already provided for its presence.
In the future, the Mausoleum was used as a tribune, where politburo and Soviet government officials, military leaders, as well as guests of honor appeared during various celebrations on Red Square (first of all, the May 1 procession and the November 7 parade, and since 1965, the May 9 parade). A special room was also envisaged, where the persons on the podium came to have a drink and a snack. From the Mausoleum, the Minister of Defense of the USSR usually delivered a speech to the participants in the parades. Western "Kremlinologists" drew conclusions about the influence of certain individuals in the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee and made forecasts for the future on the location of figures on the podium of the Mausoleum during official events
In 1990, there was a loud scandal: during the May Day demonstration, some of the demonstrators carried anti-communist slogans in front of the rostrum. Mikhail Gorbachev and the entire Politburo defiantly left the rostrum. In 1992-1994. There were no parades or processions on Red Square. On May 9, 1995, a parade was held on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Victory, which took place on Poklonnaya Hill. On May 9, 1996, a parade was held on the occasion of the 51st anniversary of the Victory, during which the Mausoleum was last used as a tribune. Since 1995, Victory parades have been held every year again, but since 1997, the leaders of the state are at the same time in temporary stands, which are built each time. During festive events (parades, concerts), the mausoleum has been closed with shields since 2005.
Moscow is the only city in Russia in which the reference point for road distances is not the building of the main post office of the city, but the Lenin Mausoleum. The Moscow Post Office is located just under two kilometers from the Mausoleum, on Myasnitskaya Street.
On March 19, 1934, Mitrofan Mikhailovich Nikitin tried to shoot at the embalmed body of the leader. He was interrupted by the quickly reacted security and visitors. Nikitin shot himself on the spot. With him, a letter of protest content was found to the party and governments
On November 5, 1957, A. N. Romanov, a resident of Moscow with no specific occupation, threw a bottle of ink into the Mausoleum. The sarcophagi with the bodies of Lenin and Stalin were not damaged.
On March 20, 1959, one of the visitors threw a hammer into the sarcophagus and broke the glass. The bodies of V.I. Lenin and I.V. Stalin did not suffer.
In September 1967, a resident of Kaunas named Krysanov blew up a belt filled with explosives near the entrance to the Mausoleum. The terrorist and several other people died, the Mausoleum was not damaged.
On September 1, 1973, an unknown person detonated an improvised explosive device inside the Lenin Mausoleum. The perpetrator and one married couple were killed and several people, including children, were injured. Lenin's body was not injured, since by that time the sarcophagus was already covered with bulletproof glass.
Currently, the Mausoleum is open for access every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm. Access to the Mausoleum and the graves near the Kremlin wall is through the checkpoint at the Nikolskaya Tower, where a metal detector is checked. When visiting the Mausoleum, it is forbidden to have photo and video equipment, mobile phones with a camera. Also, you cannot bring bags, backpacks, packages, large metal objects and bottles of liquid with you (those who wish are provided with a paid service of a left-luggage office in the building of the Historical Museum). Access to the Mausoleum is free.
About 1, 000, 000 people visit the Lenin Mausoleum annually. State funding from the budget in the amount of about 3, 000, 000 rubles per year. In addition, dates from the charitable foundation "Mausoleum of V. I. Lenin" (since 1999 - Charitable public organization for the preservation of the Mausoleum of V. I. Lenin).