The church is of the complex cross-in square type, with a triconch sanctuary in the east, a U-shaped ambulatory surrounding the three other sides of the naos and an exonarthex to the west of the ambulatory. The decoration of the interior is a combination of mosaics (on the upper part of the walls) and wall paintings (on the lower part).
The church was the catholicon (main church) of a monastery, probably
dedicated to the Virgin. It was founded in 1310-14, by Patriarch Niphon I, as is attested by an inscription on the marble lintel over the entrance and the three monograms on the dosserets of three capitals on the west facade of the church. During the Turkish occupation of the city, in the years 1520-1530 it was converted into a mosque. At this time the golden tesserae of the mosaics were hammered down and the rest of the paintings whitewashed. After the liberation of the city in 1912, it was restored to Christian worship.
Excavations in the area around the monument began in 1995 and are
still in progress.
The monument was restored in 1940-41 and again after the earthquakes
of 1978. At the same time, the wall paintings were cleaned and restored.
Today the monument functions as a church.