Novodevichy Monastery is located in the southwestern part of Moscow on bank of the Moscow River. On the grounds surrounded by the Kremlinesque walls are four cathedrals, including the majestic four-onion globes Smolensky Cathedral. Founded by Ivan the Terrible in 1524, it was here that Peter the Great imprisoned his sister Sophia and executed her supporters from the Strelsty rebellion.
The Bolsheviks closed down Novodevichy Convent although the cathedral remained open until 1929, after which it was turned into the Museum of Women's Emancipation. By 1926, the monastery had been transformed into a history and art museum. In 1934, it became affiliated with the State Historical Museum while much of its facilities were turned into apartments, thus sparing the convent from destruction.
When Joseph Stalin began to make overtures to the Russian Orthodox Church as a reward for its support in defense of the Russian lands against the Nazis during World War II, he sanctioned opening the Moscow Theological Courses school at the convent. The next year the program was transformed and became the Moscow Theological Institute. Since 1980 The Novodevichy Convent has been the residence of the Metropolitan of Krutitsy and Kolomna.
Although nuns returned to the convent in 1994, some of the churches and other monastic buildings are still affiliated with the State Historical Museum.
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