Area of island: 34 sq. km/13 sq. miChief place: Pátmos (Khóra)Pátmos lies in the eastern Aegean, south of Sámos and southeast of Ikaría. The most northerly of the Dodecanese, it is a rugged island of volcanic origin - perhaps the rim of the crater of an extinct volcano - with a much indented coastline. It has been celebrated since the Middle Ages as the island of St John the Divine, who is said to have written the Book of Revelation while living in exile on Pátmos.Pátmos was originally settled by Dorians and later by Ionians, and had a sanctuary of Artemis. The early history of the island - a place of no political or economic importance - is unknown. Like its barren neighboring islands, Pátmos was used as a place of exile in Roman times. During the early Middle Ages it seems to have been abandoned and desolate.The island was given a new lease of life as an intellectual and religious center when Abbot Christodoulos fled from Asia Minor and transferred his monastery from Mount Latmos, near Miletus, to Pátmos in 1088. The monastic island, receiving rich donations and granted extensive privileges, grew wealthy and influential. Living under its own strict Rule (Typikon), it survived 250 years of Turkish rule unscathed, subject only to the annual payment of tribute.Since 1946 the whole island has been under statutory protection as an ancient monument. The acquisition of land by foreigners and the export of antiquities are prohibited save in exceptional circumstances.
Patmos Town (Khora), Greece
The island of Pátmos consists of three parts joined by narrow isthmuses. At the head of the longest inlet on the east side is the busy port of Skála, from which it is an hour's climb (3km/2mi; bus service) to the quiet little town of Pátmos or Khóra (130m/425ft) with its whitewashed houses and its monasteries, churches and chapels. The most notable of these is the monastery of St John the Theologian (Aàyios Ioánnis Theológos; St John the Divine), towering over the town with its massive 15th century walls topped by 17th century battlements. The monastery is directly subordinate to the Oecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul.
Monastery of the Apocalypse
Half way up a road from the port of Skála to Pátmos town, on the left, is the monastery of the Apocalypse (Moní Apokalypseos), with the cave in which, according to tradition, John wrote the Book of Revelation.
Address: Between Skála and Chóra, Greece
The Iconostasis in the right-hand chapel of the Monastery of the Apocolypse, which is built into the cave, depicts John's visions, and on the floor and on the wall are marked the places where he rested, where he heard "a great voice, as of a trumpet", and where he wrote down his visions. Immediately above the monastery can be seen the ruins of the 18th century Patmiás School, and above this again the terraced buildings of the modern Theological College which continues the old tradition.