Monastery of Saint John the Theologian

Greece, Patmos island

Monastery of Saint John the Theologian

per person

Patmos was a place of exile in Roman times, where also the Apostle John the Theologian was exiled. On this island he wrote down his Apocalypse/Last Judgement.

The Byzantine Emperor Alexios I gave Patmos to the monk Christodoulos who had previously been a monk in Asia Minor. In 1088, he founded the monastery on the ruins of an ancient Artemis temple and masons from Constantinople undertook the construction of the monastery. Strong walls protected the complex from the naval attacks of the Seljuks.

Through to lavish endowment and imperial privileges, the monastery became one of the wealthiest institutions in the Byzantine era. St. John monastery possesses one of the most important libraries with ca 330 Greek manuscripts, icons, liturgical works of art and other objects. On the other hand, the Cave of the Apocalypse is one of the most important sanctuaries of Orthodoxy.


The monastic complex gives the impression of a polygonal castle which dominates above the island. The elements dated in the 11th-12th century are the katholikon (main church) of the monastery, the Virgin chapel and the refectory. The katholikon is a cross-domed based on four columns. Elements/spolia from ancient temple are used by the entrance.

The north and west sides of the monastery’s courtyard border the white walls of the monastic cells. The south side of the yard is formed by a two-storey arcade, while the east side of the yard is actually the outer narthex of the catholikon.

Halfway along the road that climbs steeply from the harbor to Chora (the capital of the island) is the Cave of the Apocalypse, where John  the Theologian dictated the Last Judgement to Prochoros, his student.



Información de la localidad

Monastery of Saint John the Theologian
Other monuments and places to visitThe Cave of the Apocalypse
Natural Heritage
Historical Recreations
Festivals of Tourist InterestDaily liturgies
Tourist Office
Specialized Guides
Guided visitsSee above
AccommodationsYes there are many hotels and hostels and restaurants as Patmos is a tourist place
RestaurantsVaggelis Restaurant
Monument or place to visitMonastery of Saint John the Theologian, Patmos
StyleRemains of 11th-12th century art and postbyzantine
TypeMonastic architecture
Epoch11th, 12th /17th centuries
State of conservationVery good condition
Degree of legal protectionUnesco World Heritage Site (1999) and the Greek Archeology Law 3028/2002 On the Protection of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage in General
Mailing addressPatmos, 85500, Greece
Coordinates GPS37°18′33″N 26°32′53″E
Property, dependencyEcumenical Patriarchate / Exarchate of Patmos
Possibility of visits by the general public or only specialists
General public visits
Conservation needs
Last conservation in 2009
Visiting hours and conditions
Daily from 08:00-13:00 and additional time (16:00-18:00 on sundays, tuesdays and thursdays)
Phone: (+30) 22470 20800. You reach the monastery by bus from the port (scala), see patmos-island.com
Ticket amount
Research work in progress
Signaling if it is registered on the route
- S. Bogiatzes Η οικοδομική ιστορία της Ιεράς Μονής Αγίου Ιωάννου Θεολόγου Πάτμου. Thessaloniki 2012
Information websitespatmosmonastery.gr
LocationPatmos island, Greece