The Jerusalem of the Aegean is one
way of describing Patmos ,or Patnos ,as it was referred to in
one 5th century inscription. It was here that St. John the Theologian
was exiled between 95 A.D. and was inspired to write the Book of Revelation
Later the emperor Alexios Komninos ordered
the monk Chistodoulos Letrinos to found a monastery in honor of the
Apostle. Thus the holy monastery landmark on the island. In September
1995 it was celebrated the anniversary of the 1900 years from the date that
the Book of Revelation was written. Patmos ,situated between Leros and
Ikaria , is a mountainous island with rocky soil and an abundance of small
coves . The majestic fortress - monastery crowns the hill above
the port, surrounded by dazzling white, cube like houses which spill
down its flanks. Interspersed among them are miniscule churches and
grand sea captains' mansions, separated from each other by narrow lanes,
high walls and small squares opening onto breath -catching views over the
Aegean . The construction of the monastery began in the 11th century .
circumscribed by massive grey stone walls with battlements that protected
the main church and another five chapels . Its extraordinary treasury
contains Byzantine and post-Byzantine icons, sacred vessels , 9th century
embroideries and other priceless objects ,while its library houses parchment
documents , patriarchal seals , illuminated manuscripts and rare old books .
In the chapel dedicated to Our Lady frescoes can be seen which date to
1210-1220 . Ships arriving at Patmos dock in the island's harbour , Skala, a
lively place with its white houses ,flowered courtyards, fish tavernas,
hotels ,restaurants ,cafes and shops.
North of Skala is the village of
Kambos, set among trees and greenery ,and near it is what many consider to
be the island's finest beach. Patmos 's indented coastline conceals a
host of lovely beaches
Among the favorites are Grigos ,Kallikatsou
Psili, Ammos and Diakofti.
HOW TO GET By ferry from Piraeus or Rhodes with Catamaran