Home to a Rich Religious and Artistic Heritage
St. John the Divine was inspired to write the Book of Revelation during a two-year banishment to Patmos that began in A.D. 95. The small cave where St. John heard the voice of God (now known as the Sacred Grotto) is at the core of the Monastery of the Apocalypse.
But the real draw is the tall, brooding Monastery of St. John the Theologian, an outstanding example of an 11-th-century monastic complex of churches and courtyards, built as a fortress to protect its trove of religious treasures.
From its inception, St. John was ornamented with outstanding paintings, carvings, and sculpture. Its rich tradition of learning established it as a renowned monastic center, a prestigious role it still enjoys today as the focal point of the Greek Orthodox faith in the Greek Isles.
St. John’s extensive library and archives are important cultural treasures, second only to the collection of Mount Athos. Its 900th birthday was celebrated in 1988 to much fanfare. Patmos offers worldly satisfactions as well, with a hilly interior and stunning beaches that attract those who are less religiously inclined.