It is located at a distance of 70 km from Heraklion in a dry and barren area full of Byzantine monuments. It is one of the most important monasteries of Crete with a history closely linked to the history of the small monasteries and hermitages of the area. It is of the fortress type with a large fortified tower within the enclosure to protect the monks from pirates arriving from the south sea. Above its gate we see part of an old hole called "fonias" or "katachytra". As soon as the enemy approached, the monks would throw hot oil or pencil from there and drive him away.
During the period of the Turkish occupation, the monastery was the headquarters of the rebels and a refuge mainly with the hero Xopatera, a dynamic monk who fought alone against the entire Ottoman army, until they killed him. A remnant of the glorious revolutionary is the tower of Xopatera. The monastery also functioned as a center for the dissemination of artistic currents that reached Crete from Constantinople.
The two-aisled church located in the center of the precinct is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and the Holy Apostles. Successive additions have been made to the original building and inside it are preserved frescoes, portable images of famous painters, iconostasis, great holy vestments.
Source: HERAKLION DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION