From 1732 to 1917, the Winter Palace was a home for the Russian Tsars. Architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli designed the elaborate palace in the Baroque and Rocco style for Grand Duchess Elizabeth, the daughter of Peter the Great, as a symbol of the might of imperial Russia. During her reign, Catherine the Great expanded the Winter Palace and commissioned the addition of a new wing called the Hermitage and filled the palace with a large collection of artwork. After Catherine’s death, Nicolas I opened the Hermitage to the public as the first art museum in Russia. The assignation of Alexander II in 1881 led the royal family to fear for their security and from then on, the Winter Palace no longer served as the true residence of the Tsars. Instead, the Romanovs moved to the more secure palace at Tsarskoe Selo and used the Winter Palace for administrative purposes. In the early decades of the turbulent 20th century, three of the major turning points in Russian history took place in the Winter Palace. The first was the Bloody Sunday massacre in 1905, when 1,000 unarmed protesters who were unaware that the Tsar no longer lived in the Winter Palace were killed by the Tsar’s troops. The controversy surrounding the event motivated the establishment of the Russian parliament, the Duma in 1906. After heavy Russian losses in the First World War, Nicolas II abdicated and he and his family were executed at Yekaterinburg. In October, 1917, the Bolsheviks stormed the Winter Palace and pillaged the palace, removing precious artifacts and looting the valuable wine cellar. Once a symbol of a powerful Russian monarchy, the enormous palace, which is three stories high and has 1,500 rooms, 1,945 windows, 1,786 doors and 117 staircases, now serves as a museum.