Friday, May 04, 2007

Revelations from a visitor to Patmos

The small island of Patmos, rocky and barren, is the site of the famed Monastery of St. John the Theologian, high above the modern port of Skala. Most of the islands' approximately 2,500 people live in three villages: Skala, Medieval Chora, and the small rural settlement of Kambos. Skala, the island's main port, is its commercial center and the location now of almost all the hotels and restaurants. Its also a popular port of call for cruise ship, and, in the summer, huge liners often loom over the town for several hours everyday. There is not much to see in the town, but strict building codes have been enforced and even new buildings have traditional architectural detail.

If you are physically able, I strongly recommend taking the long hike to the top of Patmos to discover St. John's Grotto and Monastery. The Grotto is where God spoke to St. John. The story has it that the three cracks in the ground represent the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. A priest is located inside the Grotto to over see the building. Please know that pictures are not allowed in the church.

Further up the hill is St. John's Monastery. Here is where you'll find a small yet very ornate church. As you walk in, the front wall is comprised of 24 karat gold. Frescoes adorn the walls dating back to the late 11th century. Many have been restored, but some as far back as the 18th and 19th centuries are still the originals. Source

Click on the labels "Patmos" or "Virtual Island Hopping" below this entry to see all related posts!
Caroll L. Douglas wrote an interesting comment on my first Patmos post - check it out!