The convent was constructed above the remains of the caves of the first monks who settled near the Grotto of the Nativity and of the initial Crusader monastery of Augustinian Canons. The basic structure of the convent remains that of the Crusader monastery, although it has been substantially enlarged and modified.
Clear signs of the Crusader architecture are still to be seen in the large entrance hall of the Convent, as well as in the underground areas. Entering into the ancient Crusader storage area, and passing through the area used today for elevators, it is possible to make out the ancient Crusader cistern.
The façade and entry to the Crusader monastery were located on the northern side of the structure, facing onto the area used today for Convent parking and the entrance into the Casa Nova.