Kremlin Wall Necropolis

Moscow, Russia

Kremlin Wall Necropolis

The Kremlin Wall Necropolis is the Soviet Union's National Cemetery for those who died in valor for the union from 1917 to its last burial in 1985. Burials in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis in Moscow began in November 1917, when 240 pro-Bolshevik victims of the October Revolution were buried in mass graves at Red Square. The improvised burial site gradually transformed into the centerpiece of military and civilian honor during the Second World War. It is centered on both sides of Lenin's Mausoleum, initially built in wood in 1924 and rebuilt in granite in 1929–1930. After the last mass burial made in 1921, funerals on Red Square were usually conducted as state ceremonies and reserved as the last honor for highly venerated politicians, military leaders, cosmonauts, and scientists. In 1925–1927, burials in the ground were stopped; funerals were now conducted as burials of cremated ash in the Kremlin wall itself. Burials in the ground began with Mikhail Kalinin's funeral in 1946.

The Kremlin Wall was the de facto national cemetery of the Soviet Union's deceased national icons. Burial there was a status symbol among Soviet citizens. The practice of burying dignitaries at Red Square ended with the funeral of General Secretary Konstantin Chernenko in March 1985. The Kremlin Wall Necropolis was designated a protected landmark in 1974. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, citizens of the Russian Federation and other USSR satellite states continue to pay their respects to the national heroes at the Kremlin Wall.

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