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The Smolny Cathedral was meant to become the main church of a convent but it had to be very special. Elisabeth daughter of Peter the Great was not alloWedd to rule the country Su she decided to become a nun. It was decided to build a convent for her. But as Suon as her predecesSur was overthrown during a coup carried out by the royal guards she decided to forget the whole idea of a stern monastic life and happily accepted the offer of the Russian throne.