The history of the fort began in 6th / 7th century. However some archaeologists dated back to the 8th century. It is one of the smallest keeps existing now in the inhabited monasteries. Generally speaking, keeps were built to protect the monks against barbarian fierce raids.
The fort contained:
1. A source of drinkable water: As this fort had no well, there must have been a link between the well of The Holy Virgin ancient church and the lupine basin in a room on the ground floor. A different opinion says that there was an old well to the east of the keep connected to the lupine basin. When water was needed, the basin inlet was opened to let water flow.
2. Sufficient amounts of food: No other food could be stored during any siege as it soon rotten, but lupine. No matter how long the time of storage was, lupine would be efficient food and would not decay. Science has discovered the nourishing benefits of lupine as it contains vegetable fats, carbohydrates, calcium, phosphorus and a good amount of vitamin B complex.
3. Cells or living rooms.
4. A Place for worship: In this keep there is one chapel in the name of Archangel Michael: That he might intercede on their behalf and protect them from evil.
5. One or more small burial rooms: In case a monk died under siege, he is buried in a designated area that is usually located between the roof of the keep and the ceiling of the chapel.
6. Emergency caches: In case barbarians succeeded in breaking through to kill the monks; the most important cache is situated under the sanctuary. If this took place during liturgy, the priest (and those who served with him if possible) would escape to the cache and they should receive the Holy Communion hastily before it reaches the hands of the attacker..
The fort Chapel:
It has one altar and its nave is divided into two small divisions by two pillars and a wooden partition in between. It seems that the two pillars are probably from ancient ages, were taken from a nearby pagan temples, which existed during the earliest ages of Christianity, as indicated from the broken capital of one of them.
Standing to the front of the nave, is a wooden lectern from which the “lectionary book” – the book of ritual readings – is read. It is believed to date back to the 12th century when the keep was renovated.
The door of the church, as well as the other doors, is of the same design as those of The Holy Virgin Mary ancient church.
We have had no information to-date, to confirm if the keep has ever been used.
The Hemicycle Sundial:
It consists of a fixed gnomon, in the middle of the diameter of a semicircle, carved on the southern wall of the keep. The time reading depends on the shadow of the gnomon, falling on the time scale.