It was built in 1088 AD by Emperor Alexios the First of the Komninos kin, who through edict gave different rights to the Monastery, all the while not defining whether “the Monasteries of Patmos and Amorgos are fraternal and the appointment of abbots for the Monastery of Patmos can be sourced from the monks of Amorgos, and for the Monastery of Amorgos from the monks of Patmos”.
Regarding the icon of the Virgin Mary, it is said that during the period of Iconoclasm (or War of Icons), it was cast into the sea by a noble lady of Asia in order to avoid its destruction. Tradition has it that the icon came to Amorgos by boat, and is found just below the location where the resplendent Monastery stands now.
Time wise, the construction of the Monastery during the reign of Alexios the First Komninos does not coincide with the War of Icons which took place earlier. An explanation for this difference between the two events is that the Monastery was actually renovated during the reign of Alexios Komninos which meant that the structure already existed. Therefore it is a shrine that goes back more than a thousand years. The final construction of the Monastery is a tribute to enormous will power as it is a masterpiece of whiteness blending into dark rock.