The Monastery was built during the period of piracy that spread after the great Cretan war of 1645-1669 and it was used as a fort to protect the inhabitants from the pirates. Functioned as a convent until 1834 when a decree of King Otto closed it since there were only a few nuns living there.
The architecture of the monastery is reminiscent of a fortress. The building is surrounded by high walls, with ramparts and embrasures and the northern side is inaccessible. There were two towers on the southern part, of which only the one to the south-east survives, the south-western part having been reconstructed. The sole entrance on the west side was protected by such a well-made gate, (local Juniper wood was used, clad in sheets of iron), that according to the stories, a pirate raiding party, had to move cannons all the way up, in order to breach the gate. Of course, the present door is a replacement, but the original has been kept in storage.