Local legend states that on the day of its unveiling, April 19th, 1970, the ceremony was marred by torrential rains. The statue was hidden under a tarp for the unveiling, which as to take place in front of representatives from every labor collective in the city. Being an enormous statue, the tarp was also rather large, and the accumulation of rainwater made it next to impossible to remove. The story goes that the local Communist party apparatchiks struggled to pull the huge tarp down, ultimately succeeding amongst curses and shouts. The finished product included not only a massive statue of Lenin, but also statues of a worker with a hammer and sickle, two Red Army soldiers carrying a banner, and a statue of a woman (who perhaps symbolized liberty?) supporting the banner.
The Square is still the site of demonstrations on Labor Day and October Revolution Day. It is located on the embankment of the Oka river, one of the two rivers that flow in Nizhny Novgorod. As a result, the square is a good starting location to explore the area west of the Oka. There are numerous hotels surrounding the square, as well as several floating restaurants and street vendors. The risk-reward of eating at the latter will be covered in a later post. Perhaps most notable for vacation purposes, the square is also the meeting point of several tour buses for day trips to other cities in the region, such as Kazan. These will also be covered in a subsequent post.
When in Nizhny Novgorod, one cannot miss seeing this relic of the Soviet past, especially since most of these statues have been dismantled across the former Soviet Union.