The parts of the monastery
preserved today are the catholicon, a section of the cells, and the refectory (Trapeza) at the south-east end of
the catholicon. The church is single-aisled with a barrel-vaulted roof, a vaulted
narthex, and three exonartheces. The interior is covered with finely executed
The monastery was founded in the Late Byzantine period and reached its highest
point of prosperity in the 16th century. The catholicon (main church) was renovated
by Michael Philanthropenos in 1291/2 and was later enlarged and decorated with
wall paintings, in three phases (in 1531/2, 1542, and 1560, respectively).
The catholicon was repaired and the wall paintings were restored
by the 8th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities in the years 1964 and 1973-74.
Today the church is used only on specific days of the year.
The area of the Island in the Lake of Ioannina was a monastic site
during the Byzantine period. Seven more monasteries dating from several periods
are preserved on the Island but the monastery of Agios Nikolaos seems to be
the most important of all.