Established by St. John of Kronstadt in 1900
The convent is dedicated to the Venerable St. John of Rila as a metochion of the female community in honour of John the Theologian in the village of Sura in his native land. From 1903, it was an independent convent. A large Twelve Apostles Cathedral with three side-altars and five domes (1900-02, architect N. N. Nikonov) was built in the Neo-Byzantine style and faced with multicoloured brick. The icons were painted by artist F. K. Platonov. There is a marble tombstone of the founder of the shrine with a church on the ground floor. A memorial apartment is located above the altar. The buildings, which housed monks’ cells, workshops, an orphanage and the Home for Wayfarers (built in 1903-08 by architect Nikonov) stand next to the church. There was a small cemetery in the St. John Convent. The St. Serafim Chapel to the west of the building has survived. In 1919, the building was transformed into a labour commune. In 1923, it was liquidated (the nuns stayed there for three more years). In 1926, the tombstone of Fr. John was walled up. The buildings were occupied by institutions and transformed into flats. In 1989, the cathedral was transferred to the Metochion of Puhtitsa Convent. After the restoration of 1991 it was sanctified and named the Convent of St. John. By 1999, the entire complex of buildings was given back to the convent.