The holy island of Patmos is 34 sq. km in area, 63 km of coast line and it is located163 nautical miles from Piraeus.
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 Skala,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-catcing views over the Aegean.
Its mild climate, sunshine, indended coastline, delightful bays and coves, form a picture of unique beauty.
'The Jerusalem of the Aegean' is one way of describing Patmos or Patmos, as it was referred to in one 5th century inscription. Finds from various excavations show that the island was inhabited in the 5 century BC. According to mythology Orestes sought refuge in Patmos from the pursuit of Furies. It was here that St.John the Theologian was exiled between 95 and 97 AD and was inspired to write the Book of Revelation or Apocalypse. Later the emperor Alexios Komninos ordered the monk Chistodoulos Letrinos to found a monastery in honor of the Apostle.Thus the holy monastery of Patmos was built, the most important landmark on the island.The construction of the monastery began in the 11th century. It is circumscribed by massive gray stone walls 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 priceless objects, while in 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. Very During Roman times Patios was a place of exile Apocalypse. The laity were forbidden to live within the monastery, until 1132 when the monks permitted them to live outside its walls.In the 18th century the famous Patmian School was founded from which many enlightened priests graduated.
Must see: The island's capital Patmos or Chora is built 3 km southeast of the harbor. It extends beneath the walls of the monastery of St.John, with white houses, narrow streets, mansions, captain's residences and Neoclassic edifices.The most important monument is the Fortress-monastery of St. John the Theologian, built in the center of Chora at its highest point. The monastery library contains some 900 codices, 2000 printed volumes and 13000 manuscripts and papers. About half way along the road from Chora to Skala is the Cave of the Apocalypse where St. John dictated the text of the Revelation to his pupil Prochoros. Patmos's indented conceals a host of lovely beaches. Among the favorites are Grigos, Kallikatsou, Psili Ammos, and Diakofti.
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