The Grand Church of the Winter Palace, located in the in the eastern wing of the palace, was the church of the Imperial Court. Members of the Imperial family born in St. Petersburg were to be baptized in the church and the coming of age of all Royal persons was celebrated there.
Designed by Francesco Rastrelli, the church was consecrated in 1763 in the name of the Not-Made-by-Hand Image of Our Savior, and was one of the final parts of the palace to be completed. Following the disastrous fire of 1837, the church was reconstructed under the guidance of Vasilii Stasov. In 1918, the Cathedral was officially closed for worship and is now used as an unconsecrated exhibition hall of the State Hermitage Museum.