September 01, 2000

House No. 1

When the new Soviet government decided to “temporarily” move their capital from St. Petersburg to Moscow in early 1918, they were a bit hesitant to move right into the Kremlin, given its association as “a center of reactionary tsarist power.” So Vladimir Lenin moved into room #107 at the National Hotel, directly across Okhotny Ryad from the Kremlin.

The move to Moscow proved anything but temporary, both for the government and Lenin. Ironically, room #107 now provides a perfect view of Lenin’s final resting place—the granite mausoleum on Red Square.

Lenin actually ended up living in the National for only about a week. What with World War I raging (a main reason the Bolshevik government evacuated Petersburg) and Civil War looming, the high walls of the Kremlin had some distinct security advantages. Lenin took up residence in a small apartment that had previously been the chambers of the tsar’s procurator, in the Senate building. The only piece of furniture preserved since Vladimir Iliych lived and slept in #107 is his green desk, which looks rather humble amid the  National’s luxurious surroundings.

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