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The convent located near Rethymno was probably founded by Byzantine ascetics who lived as nuns in caves within the region.

During the period of Venetian rule, the convent owned extensive land and operated throughout the period of Ottoman rule until the revolution of 1821, when it began to shrink. It subsequently underwent a long period of desertion and almost became nothing more than ruins.

After an initiative of Metropolitan Theodoros, three nuns began restoring the site in 1989, with great respect to the convent and its architecture; thus, the monastic tradition returned to the rock of Saint Irene, where the convent is located, reminiscent of an old citadel.

Its restoration was honoured in 1995 with the EUROPA NOSTRA European architectural heritage award.