Patmos (Πάτμος) is a small Greek island in the Aegean Sea, one of the northernmost islands of the Dodecanese complex. The highest point is Profitis Ilias, 269 m above sea level. Patmos’ main communities are Chora (the capital city), and Skala (the only commercial port). The churches and communities on Patmos are of the Eastern Orthodox tradition. Patmos is mentioned in the Bible Book of Revelation. The book’s introduction states that its author, John, was on Patmos when he was given a vision from Jesus. Early Christian tradition identified this writer John of Patmos as John the Apostle, though some modern scholars are uncertain.
Monastery of Saint John the Theologian
In 1088, Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos gave the island of Patmos to the soldier-priest John Christodoulos. The greater part of the monastery was completed by Christodoulos three years later. He heavily fortified the exterior because of the threats of piracy and Seljuk Turks. 330 manuscripts are housed in the library (267 on parchment), 82 manuscript of the New Testament. As of 2012, 40 monks reside here. The monastery has, amongst its relics, the skull of Saint Thomas the Apostle.
Cave of the Apocalypse
The Cave of the Apocalypse is situated about halfway up the mountain, along the road between the villages of Chora and Skala. This grotto is believed to mark the spot where John of Patmos received his visions that he recorded in the Book of the Apocalypse (Revelation).
In 1999, UNESCO declared the Cave of the Apocalypse a joint World Heritage Site together with the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian.