Patmos sights and places to see

Ancient monuments and sites of archaeological interest
The ruins of the Fora Acropolis, the ancient capital of the island, are to be seen on the Castelli hill. Parts of fortification city walls and foundations of three towers are saved and can be visited. One can also discern the foundations of the ancient temple of Apollo near the chapel of Saint Constantine. An ancient cemetery is said to exist in the area.

The Baptistery of Saint John the Divine, remains of a building, 96AD.

Petrokaravo (meaning stone-ship) is a little island resounding legends and folk stories, looking like a ship listing to one side, followed by two little boats. Legend has it that it was once a pirate- ship, which was turned to stone by Saint Christodoulos' prayers.
The waters there are very deep (120- 150 meters) and it is believed that there was a secret Greek school there during the years of the Turkish occupation. Another folk legend has it that there had been an only son from Patmos once who used his vestments as a boat in order to reach Chora and receive the wholly Communion after having spent his entire monastic life on the island as a hermit. He was said to have returned to Petrokaravo in the same way.

Monasteries and Churches :
Chora: The monastery of "Saint John the Divine": It was built by holly Christodoulos in 1088 AD on the ruins of the ancient temple of goddess Diana. The Byzantine emperor Alexios Komninos I assisted Saint Christodoulos in his work. The church is a building that looks like a medieval castle with walls and ramparts. This construction protected the monastery from pirate attacks. The monastery is located at the top of the hill where Chora, the current capital of the isle lies, dominating the entirety of the island. The Byzantine order church is dedicated to Saint John the Divine. It is decorated with frescos of exquisite art value pertaining to different eras. It also has a woodcut icon screen engraved by masters of this art.
Among the oldest icons of this church one can see the old icon of Saint John the Divine, a gift of emperor Alexios I, and the mosaic icon of Saint Nicholas. The church has two chapels, the right one of which is dedicated to Holy Christodoulos whose relics are in the church's reliquary. The chapel on the left is dedicated to Virgin Mary. It is decorated with frescos dating back to the 17th century. It is said that the altar of the church is made of a compact rock taken from the temple of goddess Diana. In the front yard of the monastery one can see small ancient pillars while inside the monastery there are eight small chapels with invaluable Byzantine icons.

The monastery treasury: It includes several heirlooms preserved for many centuries. Among them we can mention sacerdotal bishop vestments embroidered with gold thread and precious stones. In the glass display units there are many sacred vessels together with precious crucifixes, chalices, emperors' crowns and patriarch mitres. Among these heirlooms one can also see the crown of the Byzantine emperor Alexios I, the mitre of the ecumenical patriarch Neophytos VI -made of three kilos of gold and embellished with precious stones, and an architectural cross of patriarch Gregory V, martyr of the Greek nation.

The Holy of Holies Cloister is near the nunnery of the Source of Life.

The Cloister of the Source of life. It is the oldest nunnery in the heart of Patmos. It is presently inhabited by a few nuns who keep it alive. The building complex of the nunnery whose order is the local insular architectural style is very interesting, and the collection of Byzantine icons it hosts is also worth seeing.

The Convent of Annunciation in the northwest is the biggest nunnery of the area with numerous nuns. The throne was built in 1613 by the priest-monk of the Theologos cloister Nikiphoros Kritas, while the convent was founded in 1937 by the priest-monk of the Theologos convent, Amphilochios Makris. At present the nunnery is a thriving convent flourishing and developing even further. There are several workshops running there, the most important of which is the hagiography workshop following the tradition set in train by the great painter of holy icons nun Olympiada -who passed away in 2002 leaving behind her works that decorate the convent in question as well as other churches, and icon collections both in Greece and abroad.

The Church of Virgin Mary of Gravas is in the west, dates back to the 18th century and is dedicated to the Assumption of Virgin Mary.

Prophet Helias is located on the highest hill of Patmios, commanding a spectacular view to the southern part of the island. Its story started in the 18th century according to a marble slab inscription on the church. Visitors to this church need a prior permit from the monastery of Saint John the Divine (Theologos).

The Church of Saint Joseph is in the south, surrounded by very beautiful landscape



2007 travel guides