The monastery, which presents 5 km east of Mardin, was a settlement for Assyrian Orthodox patriarchs for 640 years until 1932 and consisting of three floors, got its present form in 18th century, with additions made beginning from 5th century.
Monastery, was built on a complex which was used as a sun temple before Christ and then as a tower by Romans. After a big restoration launched by St. Hananyo, Metropolitan of Mardin and Kefertüth, in 793, the monastery was called with his name as Mor Hananyo Monastery.
After 15th century, it began to be called as Deyrulzafaran (Saffron Monastery), because of the zafaran (saffron) plant growing around the monastery. The monastery, which is a fine architecture example with its domes, arched columns, wooden handcrafts, stone embroideries in both inner and outer places, was one of religious education centers of Assyrian Church through its long history.
The patriarch of the period had the first printing press of the region, which he bought from England, brought to the monastery. Syrian, Arabic, Ottoman Turkish and Turkish books was printed in that printing press. Deyrulzafaran Monastery, which was a settlement of Mardin Metropolitan, is still one of important religious centers for Assyrian Church today.