Religion, history, culture
Monastery of Saint John the Evangelist
In religious history, Patmos is known since the first century because of St. John, student of Jesus, who was exiled there in 95 AD for two years. Therefore, Patmos is rightfully described as "Jerusalem of the Mediterranean", the island where Saint John the Evangelist, living in the cave of St. Anne, wrote the book of "Revelation", the last of the 27 books of the New Testament and the only manuscript with a revealing and prophetic content. The Monastery of St. John the Evangelist is an Orthodox monastery, a monastic center in the Aegean, with a continuous historical and spiritual journey that started more than nine centuries ago, in 1088. It is actually a monastery formed like a castle in the main village of Chora, with 15 meters-height walls, giving the sense of a well-fortified fortress. It is worth noticing that a long time ago, around the 16th century, the Monastery truly functioned as a fortress, in which residents fled for protection from pirate attacks. From its terrace and courtyards, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the island, the port of Skala and the bottom of Chora, creating a landscape full of domes and rooftops.
Museum and library of the Monastery
The Monastery of St. John the Evangelist along with the Cave of the Apocalypse are World Heritage monuments by the educational, scientific and cultural organization of the United Nations, UNESCO (Year of membership 1999). The Monastery of St. John the Evangelist, is the first monument which collaborated with Google Art Project, so that Internet users can now admire more than 116 artifacts in a digital form, by clicking here. In the inner narthex of the monastery, visitors can admire the icon of St. John the Evangelist, donated by the emperor Alexios Komninos to Saint Christodoulos. In the same area, there is a chapel of Virgin Mary with frescoes of the 12th century. Last but not least, there is a rich library with more than 2,000 texts, 900 codes and 13,000 documents, associated with the history of the monastery as well as some of the first manuscripts of its founder, Saint Christodoulos.
Holy Cave of the Apocalypse
The Cave of Apocalypse lies between the villages of Skala and Chora and is considered to be «God-trodden», granting Patmos the title of «Mediterranean Jerusalem». Causing awe to every visitor, this cave is supposed to be the area where the student of Christ, John, had his visions, recorded in the book of Revelation. The Christian tradition claims that there was a torn rock in the cave from which three smaller cracks occurred (symbolizing the Holy Trinity). It is through the cracks that John heard the voice of God written in the Apocalypse. The cave was formed as a worship sight by the founder of the monastery, St. Christodoulos. In 1999 it was declared a World Heritage Cultural Site by UNESCO.
Ecclesiastical school of Patmos, Patmiada
The ecclesiastical school of Patmos or «Patmiada School», was the spiritual center of the island, providing training in various distinguished personalities of Greece, such as Emmanuel Xanthos, a founding member of the «Friendly Society», which contributed to the spiritual awakening and the rebirth of the Greek nation. Located above the sacred Cave of the Apocalypse, «Patmiada school» operates until today as a church school, having as a mainstay the Sacred Rock of the Cave of the Apocalypse. A large percentage of its graduates preach in our church.
The Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi
The Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi is located in Chora, after passing the point where the bust of Emmanuel Xanthos stands, near the town hall. Founded in 1607 by the abbot of the monastery of St. John, Parthenios Pagkostas, it is dedicated to Jesus Christ and the Holy Mother.
The Church of Panagia Diasozousa
With its exact year of foundation remaining unknown to this day, the Church seems to have been founded before 1500. Visitors can admire the miraculous icon of Our Mother Diasozousas. The tradition of Patmos indicates that this image is one of the seventy images of Luke the Evangelist .
The Monastery of the Annunciation
The monastery is located in the southwestern part of the island behind Hora and inhabited by nuns. The monastery was originally a small chapel hermitage until 1613, when an abbot of the monastery of St. John, Nikiforos, renovated the building and dedicated it to Luke the Evangelist. In 1937 new buildings were added by the monk Amfilohios Makris, who actually founded the Monastery of the Annunciation. The monastery is home to more than 40 nuns who, apart from prayer, are also engaged in social work, gardening, beekeeping and Byzantine embroidery - with a technique called «spitha».
Next to the church of St. John the Theologian, located in Skala near the port, some ruins are preserved. These ruins once served as a «baptistery», during the early Christian era. Tradition claims that Saint John the Evangelist used to baptize people there, while another tradition claims that the Saint stood there when he sent the magician «Kynopas» into the bottom of the sea.
Windmills of Patmos
The two windmills were built in 1688 and the third in 1863. During the 1950s, they were abandoned as were most windmills in Europe. After the restoration of these by the Swiss yachtsman and banker, Mr. Charles Pictet, a staunch friend of Patmos in 2012, windmills are not only visited by the general public, but also put into operation, producing a limited amount of flour for the time being, with increasing production perspectives. Read more about the project here.
The Simantiri mansion (Chora district Neochori)
Located in the settlement of Chora, in the region of Neohori, next to the Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi, the unique 1625 mansion has been converted into a folklore museum, a genuine culture and cultural monument. We found it while exploring the narrow alleys of Chora and in this well-preserved mansion, which is preserved for eight generations now, the lady of the house Morfoula Simantiri was our guide, gracefully presenting her precious handmade embroideries. Here, you take a glimpse of everyday life in Patmos during the past centuries through furniture, paintings, photographs, traditional tools and objects used in everyday life.
The Nikolaidis mansion is an urban building, partly constructed in the 17th-18th century, located in the northeastern part of Patmos in Chora and is structured on two floors. Morphological and structural features found in Patmian houses have been maintained, such as the carved «mantomata» and also some particular characteristics like the two gothic, double-light windows on the upper floor. One of the most impressive items preserved in the mansion is the «ampataros», a complex wooden object that had a dual function: as a storage area and as a way to separate the «lobby area» from the «sleeping area». After the earthquake of 1956, the mansion was severely damaged and has since received large-scale interventions in order to come as close as possible to its original form.
Hermitage Petra – «Kalikatsou»
In the southeastern part of Patmos Island, in Groikos, you will find Petra or «Kalikatsou», a word that stands for a kind of crow or magpie in many islands. There are visible traces of living ascetics: Positions for shelves, oven mouth, wells and water pipelines. Researchers also thought it was a sanctuary, probably one of Aphrodite. The view from the top is impressive, but you will have to be careful both in climbing up and down, since the surface is sharp and slippery.
Castelli - Ancient Acropolis
The ruins of the ancient acropolis are situated on the slope of Kastelli hill, in the area of Skala. Fortification wall sections and three towers (3rd century BC) are preserved while indicating the existence of an ancient cemetery in the area.
Chapel of Prophet Elias
Located in the western part of the island, is consists the highest point of the island, about 269 meters high, offering travelers a unique landscape view. In addition, if the weather is clear you can easily distinguish the islands Leipsoi and Leros. Do not forget to follow the trail starting from the west of Chora and find yourself there during sunsets, in order to enjoy the melancholic colors of the sun in the sky, as it fades over the Aegean Sea.
Home Ruins and the memorial of Emmanuel Xanthos
Emmanuel Xanthos was born in Patmos in 1772, and began the first of the «Patmiada School» class. He was a founding member of the Society of Friends, with Athanasios Tsakalof and Nikolaos Skoufas in 1814. The bust and ruins of his house, along with its cenotaph which transferred his bones, are positioned in Chora, next to the Town Hall square.
Stavrakas house was built in 1870-1880, in the northern part of Chora, just beneath the walls and next to the gate of the Monastery of Theologos. It is a classic example of traditional Patmian houses during the neoclassical era.
Kumara forest (Arbutus forest)
The beautiful forest of «Kumara» or arbutus is seen on the road just before Lambi area and is one of the three arbutus forests preserved in Greece.