Apart from the generic isolation of monasteries from secular life, there seem to be additional reasons why monasteries in Lakonia were traditionally built this high in the mountains. Centuries ago, the raids of Frankish and Turkish troops, as well as the menace of local and foreign bandits, led the inhabitants of lowland villages to seek a more peaceful place to settle.
Following this mass relocation to higher regions, plateaus, and inaccessible ravines, monastery communities would not be able to survive unless they too moved closer to their secular counterparts. The two protected and helped each other out in times of hardship and war, and the alliance between them became even stronger. Many monasteries, originally modest in size and scope, later grew into sturdy, fortified building complexes, which provided refuge to monks and villagers alike. The cave monastery of Agioi Tessarakonta near Chryssafa, Panagia Lagkadiotissa (= Our Lady of the Glen) at Parori, Katafygiotissa (= Our Lady of Refuge) and Agios Ioannis Prodromos at Tzitzina, together with a multitude of pilgrimage sites in the Municipality of Sparta, are typical examples of the extensive character of monastic and religious life and culture. Many date back to the mid-13th century; some of them were built after the fall of Constantinople, bearing the names of her once famous churches.