During his long internment on this mountainous island, St John wrote both the Apocalypse and his Gospel in the Grotto (cave) of St Anna. In 1088, Ioannis ‘The Blessed’ Christodoulos, a Bithynian abbot and soldier, received permission from the Byzantine Emperor Alexis I Comnenus to found a monastery on the island dedicated to St John. Your first sight is the massive medieval walls of the monastery, which stand guard over whitewashed Chora, the island’s hilltop capital.


The Sculpted Mountaintop Village of Chora

Immaculate Chora towers above the port of Skala. An architecturally homogenous village, the cobblestone streets and alleys of Chora are lined with mansions built by wealthy ship owners during the 17th and 18th centuries.

The Monastery of St John

The Monastery of St John dates from 1088. The fortified monastery, whose walls are more than 15 mt high, was built with local gray stone. In 1088, St Christodoulos requested the entire island of Patmos from Byzantine Emperor Alexis I Comnenus so that he could found a monastery dedicated to St John.

The Grotto of the Apocalypse – A Sacred Location

Halfway up the mountain from the port of Skala to Chora is the Holy Grotto of the Apocalypse. According to Christian tradition, three fissures (a symbol of the Holy Trinity) opened in a wall in the grotto. St John heard a voice that granted him a series of visions of the future (revelations), St John dictated the revelations to one of his disciples, Prochoros, and this text became the Book of Revelations. During his time in this sacred cave, St John also composed the Fourth Gospel.

Patmos – One of the Most Idyllic Places on Earth

Although its infrastructure rivals that of its Dodecanese neighbours, Patmos still feels off the beaten path and esoteric, thanks to its unstudied natural beauty, its picture-perfect villages, its postcard-quality vistas and its sacred sites. In 2009, Forbes named the island one of the world’s most idyllic places to live: words such as ‘dreamlike’, ‘homey’ and ‘virginal’ are often used to describe this Aegean haven.