View of south wing
The history of St John's Convent
The founding of St John's Convent cannot be exactly dated, but the year of foundation is taken to be 1177. Although first a monastery, after some time it was also staffed with nuns.
Serious internal difficulties led however to separation again and the "transfer" of the monks to Cismar. The convent quickly flourished under leadership by the nuns and had soon acquired a considerable holding in the area of the city through purchase, exchange or donation and a frugal budget.
Thus the land holdings of the convent included the villages of Datzendorf, Pöppendorf, Wulfsdorf, Beidendorf, Schwochel, Kücknitz, Herrenwyk and many more.
In addition to these the land holdings also included extensive areas of forest which even today form the predominant part of the foundation's assets. The management of the forests is still the foundation's main source of income, from whose proceeds the majority of the foundation's work is financed.
Over time the convent lost, together with its assets, its ecclesiastical and political independence and was placed under the control of the city of Lübeck's administration. The convent developed into a charitable institution in which unmarried daughters of Lübeck's citizens could be housed.
Single ladies who are over the age of 50 and who are needy in the sense defined by the tax provisions live in the apartments of today's St John's Convent in accordance with the foundation's charter.