Joseph Stalin was the head of the Soviet Union in a very difficult period from 1925 to 1953. The attitude towards him in society is ambiguous, but in his homeland in Georgia, as well as in Russia, there are several museums where you can get to know Stalin's personality better.

In this review on the online travel guide Geomerid you can see the museums of Stalin and learn more about his personality:

1.    The Stalin Museum in Gori
2.    Vologda Exile Museum
3.    Stalin summer cottage in Matsesta
4.    The Stalin Museum in Volgograd
5.    Gulag History Museum
6.    Stalin's Bunker in Samara
7.    Muzeon Park in Moscow
8.    Alley of Monumental Propaganda

The Stalin Museum in Gori

Gori (Georgia) is famous for being the birthplace of Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin, therefore the Stalin Museum is located here. He was the leader of the Soviet Union between 1925 and 1953. During this time, many events took place in the USSR. There are many diametrically opposite opinions about it. People can hold different points of view, but the scale of the personality of Joseph Stalin is undeniable. He is certainly one of the greatest statesmen in world history. 

The Joseph Stalin Museum is located on the site of a small house in the center of Gori, where Joseph Dzhugashvili was born on December 6, 1878. The idea of creating a Museum of Stalin appeared in the 1930s. The Museum was opened 6 years later, in 1955. By that time, 2 years had passed since the death of the "leader of the peoples". 

One of the most interesting exhibits of the Stalin Museum in Gori is the small house where Stalin was born. It is located under a monumental portico with marble columns. The building of the Stalin Museum in Gori is built in the architectural style of a Venetian Palazzo, similar to the Doge`s Palace in Venice. The exhibition dedicated to the life of Stalin and the history of the Soviet Union is located in 9 halls. 

Read more about Stalin Museum in Gori (Georgia)

Vologda Exile Museum

The Vologda Exile Museum is located in a wooden two-storey house of the 19th century. Vologda became a place of exile for political prisoners back in the 16th century. The most famous prisoner who served time here was Joseph Stalin. He came to Vologda after completing the term he served in exile in Solvychegodsk. 

Joseph Dzhugashvili was exiled to Solvychegodsk (at that time he had not yet taken the pseudonym Stalin) he served in 1909-1911. This city is located 550 kilometers northeast of Vologda. There he lived in the house of Maria Kuzakova, who gave birth to a son from Stalin. He was ordered to move to Vologda and forbidden to live in the capitals and other major cities. However, Stalin, using the passport of his acquaintance, the exiled Peter Chizhikov, went to St. Petersburg, where he was immediately arrested and ordered to return to Vologda. 

The Vologda Exile Museum is located in a house on the banks of the Zolotukha River, where Joseph Stalin rented a small room for 3 rubles a month in December 1911. He lived there for only 3 months until February 1912. He again received forged documents and again fled Vologda. This was the end of Stalin`s Vologda exile. 

Read more about Vologda Exile Museum

Stalin Summer cottage in Matsesta 

Stalin Summer cottage in Matsesta was built in 1931, but the green building of 1937 has survived to this day. In the following years, the house was constantly being expanded. Now there is a museum where you can see how Joseph Stalin and his family rested at sea. 

In the first half of the 20th century, Sochi was not the most popular resort on the Black Sea. However, thanks to the hydrogen sulfide sources of Matsesta, Stalin began to come here, then all the top leadership of the state, and after them ordinary people. 

The construction of Stalin`s summer cottage was entrusted to the architect Miron Merzhanov. He built many houses for Stalin, including a Nearby Cottage in Kuntsevo (Moscow). The layout of all the houses was similar, since Stalin did not like the variety of the layout. All the houses were green. The decoration of the rooms has been preserved in its original form. The materials used here were so durable that there was no point in changing anything. For example, in the windows, instead of glass, rock crystal is installed, which does not let sound and ultraviolet light through, the frames in the windows are made of precious wood. The walls are also decorated with precious wood.

Read more about Stalin Summer cottage in Matsesta 

Stalin Bunker in Samara

During WWII Samara had the status of the «emergency capital», as it was planned to move all government institutions in this city if Moscow would have been captured by the German troops.

It is quite natural that on the occasion of air raids there was built a special «object» for Stalin in this city, although the public knew about its existence only in 1991. In that year it was decided to declassify and make open for visiting the bunker, which is considered to be the deepest structure of World War II.

The Museum bunker of Stalin is at the depth of 37 meters, that is all the main rooms of Stalin and the government of the Soviet Union are on the 12th underground floor. Samara bunker is a multi-level, fully isolated structure equipped with lifts. The most interesting objects are on the lower levels. They the boardroom for 115 persons and the rest room of Stalin. On the upper levels there are located the rooms of security and supporting services.

Read more about Stalin Bunker in Samara

The Stalin Museum in Volgograd

The Stalin Museum in Volgograd is located on the southern slope of Mamayev Kurgan. The most convenient way to get to it is from the All-Holy Church. The Joseph Stalin Museum is located in the basement of the house near the parking lot. It is dedicated to the events of the Stalinist era, which is associated with Volgograd, and the motto of this museum is the words of the writer Sholokhov about the cult of Stalin`s personality: "There was a cult, but there was also a personality." 

The exposition begins with the Civil War of the 1920s. At this time, Stalin, together with Voroshilov, led the defense of the city of Tsaritsyn. A significant part of the Stalin Museum in Volgograd is dedicated to the great Soviet construction projects and the industrialization of the country. 

The Stalin Museum has an exhibition dedicated to the Battle of Stalingrad during WWII. This battle ended with the defeat of the 6th Paulus Army, after which the Germans lost the strategic initiative and, as a result, lost the war. The main events of this battle took place where this museum is located - on Mamayev Kurgan. 

Read more about Stalin Museum in Volgograd

Gulag History Museum

The Gulag History Museum was opened in Moscow in 2001, on the initiative of historian Anton Antonov-Ovsienko, who was repressed after his parents. He spent 13 years in the camps. In this museum you can learn about the most tragic page in the history of Russia of the 20th century: the Stalinist repressions of the 1930s. 

The Russian transcription of the word "Gulag" means "The Chief Administration of the Camps." It began to form in the late 1920s. The Gulag History Museum was created to preserve the memory of these events so that they would never happen again. Some halls of the Gulag History Museum are stylized as camp barracks, they contain personal belongings of prisoners, as well as recreated the way of their life.  

In some halls of the museum you can see the structure of the Gulag camps. There were so many of them that the imprisoned people began to be used as slaves on the gigantic infrastructure constructions of the Stalin period, for example, on the laying of the navigable White Sea Canal (227 km, 19 locks), which the prisoners dug by hand. Hundreds of thousands of people died in these jobs.  

Read more about Gulag History Museum

Museon Park in Moscow

The Museon, one of the most interesting parks of Moscow, is on the embankment of the Moscow River, near the Gorky Park and the western side of Balchug Island. The Central House of Artist is at the park. The exhibitions of the Tretyakov Gallery are held there. However, the most interesting is to have a walk in the alleys of the park among hundreds of monuments of the Soviet period, which were moved there from all over the country.

In the alleys of the Museon you can see the monuments to many notorious figures of the Soviet period, including those which aren`t very popular in modern society, such as the monuments to Stalin and Dzerzhinsky. During Stalin's reign in Russia there were almost as many monuments to Stalin as to Lenin, but after his death they were all dismantled. The granite monument to Stalin has been preserved only in the Muzeon Park.

Read more about Museon Park in Moscow

Photo exposition in Lenin Gorki

On the way from the Lenin Museum to the main house of Gorki estate where Lenin lived you should stop near a photo exposition devoted to the first years of Lenin and Stalin rule.

Certainly, these photos are a part of Russian history as on them you can see various people who played an important role in the history of the country. Not only Lenin and Stalin are depicted on the photos. You can also see there people who were close to them in different periods of time. 

Apart from the photos the exposition also has propaganda placards of the first years of the Soviet power. Recently, busts of Stalin appeared on the Alley of Monumental Propaganda. Previously, only Lenin monuments could be seen here.

Read more about Photo exposition in Lenin Gorki