Island of Patmos

Island of Patmos

“The Jerusalem of the Aegean” is one way of describing Patmos or Patnos, as it was referred to in one 5th century inscription. It was here that St. John the Theologian was exiled between 95 and 97 A.D. and was inspired to write the Book of Revelation or Apocalypse.  Later the emperor Alexios Komninos ordered the monk Christodoulos Letrinos to find a monastery in honour of the Apostle. Thus the holy monastery of Patmos was built, the most important landmark on the island.
In September 1995 it was celebrated the anniversary of the 1900 years from the date that the Book of Revelation was written.
Patmos, situated between Leros and Ikaria, is a mountainous island with rocky soil and an abundance of small coves. The majestic fortress-monastery crowns the hill above the port, surrounded by dazzling white, cubelike houses, which spill down its flanks.  Interspersed among them are miniscule churches and grand sea captains’ mansions, separated from each other by narrow lanes, high walls and small squares opening onto breath-catching views over the Aegean.
The construction of the monastery began in the 11th century. It is circumscribed by massive grey stonewalls with battlements that protected the main church and another five chapels. Its extraordinary treasury contains Byzantine and post-Byzantine icons, sacred vessels, 9th century embroideries and other pricelless objects, while its library houses parchment documents, patriarchal seals, illuminated manuscripts and rare old books. In the chapel dedicated to Our Lady frescoes can be seen which date to 1210-1220.
Ships arriving at Patmos dock in the island’s harbour, Skala, a lively place with its white houses, flowered courtyards, fish tavern as, hotels, restaurants, cafes and shops. North of Skala is the village of Kambos, set among trees and greenery, and near it is what many consider to be the island’s finest beach. Patmos’s indented coastline conceals a host of lovely beaches. Among the favourites are Grigos, Kallikatsou, Psili Ammos and Diakofti.

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