In the summer before the October Revolution of 1917, Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin spent a short stint hiding out in a tiny straw hut disguised as a Finnish hay farmer.
Following a violent demonstration that July, the Russian government had issued the arrest of Lenin and other communist leaders. Lenin fled Saint Petersburg and spent a few days hiding in a village just outside the city, in the barn attic on the farm of Bolshevik worker Nikolai Yemelyanov.
When being discovered there became too dangerous, Lenin relocated to a remote section of a hay meadow on the eastern shore of Sestroretskiy Lake, posing as a Finnish hay farmer. He lived in a tiny hut hastily made of tree branches covered in straw. To complete the disguise, he shaved his beard and wore a wig.
It was during this short hideout period in the hay hut that Lenin started writing his famous book, State and Revolution, which would forecast the overthrow of the tsarist government and the rise of the proletariat state.
After Lenin’s death the hay hut was recreated on the site where it originally stood by the lake. A museum was opened nearby to commemorate this place, and display some important artifacts that Lenin used in this short period in hiding, like a saw to cut wood and a pot for making tea.
Know Before You Go
To get here from Saint Petersburg by train, the closest stop is Tarkhovka station. But note that the hut and museum are quite a long walk away along the lakeshore. In summer months there is also infrequent ferry connection to Sestroretsk across the lake.
Yemelyanov's barn was also declared a historic monument by the Soviet government, and restored and protected as a museum. It is located across the lake in Razliv.