Sunday, August 29, 2010

Shushenskoye Museum

Sushenskoye is the village in the Sayan mountains just on the edge of Khakasia where Lenin was exiled from 1897 to 1900. He received an allowance and spent his time hunting and writing seditious literature at which he was never caught. Though his bookshelf was raided by the police, they got bored after the first few shelves and did not look at the remaining two shelves which contained enough illegal books to have warranted very severe punishment.

The village was declared a museum in 1940 and every self respecting Russian visited it.  Even today, it gets a few thousand visitors a year, especially with a new ethnic music festival.  The mountains around it are beautiful and the Sayano-Shushenkaya Dam and Hydro-Electric Station is not far from it.

Tanya took me to visit the village in 2006 when these pictures were taken.

House where Lenin lived
Typical late 19th century Siberian village
Woodworking shop
Hand cranked wood lathe
Wagon typical of those in use in rural villages
Lenin's desk and bookshelves
Lenin and his wife had separate beds which was normal for upper class Russians.
Dry goods shop in the village
Another shot of the dry goods shop
Tavern.  The keg was filled with vodka
Oven/cook stove in a poor cobbler's home
Cobbler's bench with wooden lasts
The biggest house in town: merchant, landowner, gentry of some sort


  1. That looks like pre American revolutionary war decore. They must have been some hearty people to live there.

  2. I think comrade Lenin lived well. Quiet, out of the way kind of place. Looks cosy on the inside, bordering on posh.

  3. Looks pretty interesting. Also I thought I recognized the name of the nearby hydro plant. It is the one that had the large explosion last summer. It appears that too high water pressure blew apart a turbine and a large part of the plant. It seems that plant has been "accident prone" from the start. And I see that a contractor's accountant is accused of embezzling the money that was supposed to be used for the repairs.

  4. Demeur, Siberia was pretty much frontier in those days. The trans-Siberian railway ran about 500 km north of the village, through Krasnoyarsk. It was a long long way from Moscow which was a long long way from western Europe.

    RB, actually, he did live pretty well there. The houses were warm and comfortable and servants did the work. Siberia never had serfs so the servants while not that well treated were still somewhat better off than in European Russia.

    DC, Tanya had not heard about the accountant. Can you send a link? She did say that the bolts holding the turbine needed replacing and that repairs had not been done.

  5. I saw the comment about the accountant on the link to wikipedia on your blog. Also I found a reference it on

  6. DC, it sounds about par for the course. Wiki says the accountant and St Pete times says boss and accountant. Too bad they can't be tried for manslaughter but it remains to be seen if they even go to jail. Management which ignores safety warnings in the USA don't seem to suffer much when people are killed. One would hardly expect more justice in Russia.

  7. And that is so sad, Al.

    But human life is cheap.


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