Patmos the Cave of the Apocalypse

Apocalypse cave

The Cave of the Apocalypse on Patmos island

The Cave of the Apocalypse: Old island traditions and historical documents define the cave of the Apocalypse as the place where Saint John the Divine wrote the "Apocalypse" and that is why it is regarded as the most important sacred location on the island.
The Apocalypse Cave is currently surrounded by the major monastic complex of the Apocalypse monastery, which stands out in its local white color. A few steps carved on the rock lead visitors to the simple gate to the monastery. The cells, the flower-laden yards, the chapels built on different levels, their carved almost cylindrical domes, convey a sense of pleasant and somehow intriguing atmosphere because of the buildings' arrangement. The Sacred Cave lies in the lowest level of this complex.

Getting down the stairs leading to the sacred Cave we come across the chapels of Saint Nicholas, Saint Artemios and, last but not least, Saint Anna's chapel built right in front of the Cave to one side. The Sacred Cave seems to be part of Saint Anna's chapel but in effect it constitutes a church on its own, dedicated to saint John the Divine. You will always find a monk there, ever willing to show around anyone who wishes to see the Cave, which is approximately 4 meters deep. At a certain point in the cave the monk will show you the Cross engraved on the rock by Saint John the Evangelist himself, according to Church Tradition. He will also show you a triple fissure through which John could hear the voice telling him to write the "Apocalypse" and the place where he lay down to sleep.
Apart from the afore-mentioned sources the precise location of the cave was also defined based on the old manuscripts relating that John lived somewhere between Scala and Chora. As Saint John the Evangelist himself said, he wrote the "Apocalypse" on the isle of Patmos, in conjunction with several other ecclesiastical authors such as Clementas of Alexandria, Origenis, Irinios, Eusebios and others. 

The "Apocalypse" is one of the most important texts of eschatological literature. The first structure of the building complex, which is Saint Anna's chapel, was built by Saint Christodoulos in the year 1088 as tradition has it. In early 17th century Gregory, the bishop of Caesaria founded and built the monastery. Around 1800 the founder of the School of Patmos Makarios Kalogeras annexed the first buildings and added new ones. Thanks to the love and the care of the monks the entirety of the buildings is still in excellent condition after so many years.

In the year 2001 the Speleological Society of the Dodecanese discovered a precipice-like cave in the area of Genoupas. The cave has not been fully explored yet but it is nevertheless of major geological interest because of its great depth and the singularity of its caverns. 
There is also a cave on the islet of Arkii opulently decorated with stalactites and stalagmites (not open to visitors).


2007 Greece travel