Looking for a beautiful Greek island, a relaxing place where you can retreat to and enjoy a quality vacation? Imagine taking long walks, swimming in enchanting bays with crystal clear blue waters and eating at authentic local tavernas. Patmos is all that and more, it will mesmerise you with its remarkable serenity.
Patmos is a sacred island renowned as being the place where Saint John wrote the Book of Revelation. Are you prepared to embark on a spiritual journey to one of the most important religious centres in Greece? Here are our 12 reasons to visit Patmos right now.
1. The Cave of the Apocalypse
This small Greek island in the Aegean was described as rocky, bleak and desolate — the Roman government used it as a place of banishment where prisoners were put to work in the mines. It was also the place of St. John’s exile around 95 A.D. when he wrote Apocalypse.
As our guide Mr Iakovos Kouklakis explained the story, Jesus Christ came to St. John and instructed him to write down everything that he would see and experience from that day onwards. St. John had asked his loyal student Prochoros to write down everything he would share with him as due to his old age he could not do anything but speak.
The book does not talk about religion but the future from today until the end of the world and was written using many symbols. In fact 77 symbols use number seven and over one hundred and fifty universities around the world tried to explain the meaning of these symbols without much success.
The Cave of the Apocalypse is the second holy place in the world after Jerusalem, for all the religions not just the Christians as it is believed that this is the place where the creator of the world appeared. First in the Mount Sinai where the Ten Commandments were given to Moses by God, the second time in Jordan River and the third and last time was in Patmos.
Inside the cave of the Apocalypse you can see the exact place where St. John slept and worshipped the God. A visit to the cave of the Apocalypse is a must for anyone who comes to Patmos, regardless religious beliefs.
2. The Monastery of Saint John Theologian
Crowing the top of the hill of Chora stands the Monastery of Saint John Theologian which is the most impressive sight visible on Patmos.
Resembling a Byzantine castle the Monastery was built as a fortress with its walls rising over 15 meters high. Founded in 1088 by Ossios Christodoulos the Monastery was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999.
Above the entrance there is a small opening visible till this day which the monks would use to pour hot oil or water during the pirate raids. The monks would also ring the monastery’s bells to inform the island’s inhabitants to take refuge behind the fortified walls.
Inside the Monastery there is a Museum which exhibits an impressive collection of icons, original manuscripts from the bible, objects of silver and gold and sacred relics just to name a few.
We were all privileged to be taken on a private tour of the monastery’s library which is not open to the public and can only be accessed by the Byzantine and biblical scholars with a special permission. The library houses more than 3,000 printed books, 900 manuscripts and 13,000 documents dating back to 1073.
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