The Winter Palace was built between 1754 and 1762 and is one of the masterpieces of the baroque architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli. The green and white baroque palace has a rectangular ground plan. It is unbelievably large- there are nearly 1,500 private and representative chambers. The cornice around the palace is 2 km long.
The Winter Palace used to serve as the administrative center of the country. There were representative and private tsarist chambers on the first floor and private rooms of the most important nobility on the second one. In 1764, Catherine the Great founded the Hermitage Museum, one of Russia's greatest museums, in the picture gallery of the Winter Palace. The Hermitage Museum presents more than 3 million exhibits. All the rooms have been reconstructed over time, especially after the fire in 1837. The Winter Palace and the Hermitage Museum have not been damaged along with everything else during the proletarian revolution due to V. I. Lenin, who stated that the Winter Palace is the "property of all people" and forbade its looting.