Saint John Monastery
The Monastery of Saint John the Theologian in Patmos, Dodecanese: The monastery of Agios Ioannis Theologos is the most significant cultural and religious centre on the island which is visible from every part of the island and is perhaps, the first thing one will notice, as it sits high on the hill above Chora. The monastery was established by Agios Christodoulos after the donation of Alexios Komnenos I in 1088.
The monastery has an impressive, heavy gate that can be reached by the stony pathways adorned with pebbles. A beautifully decorated yard can be seen with a well with holy water and a water tank in its centre. The monastery is fortified with tall, thick walls, towers and ramparts, which are a work from Byzantine architecture. An arch with four curves on the eastern side of the monastery dominates the area and also bears many frescoes symbolizing of miracles performed by Agios Ioannis Theologos (Saint John the Theologian).
The relic of the founder of the monastery is kept at the chapel of Agioi Apostoli, built in 1603. The monks of the monastery held their meetings at the ten chapels within the monastery among which the most impressive is the one with the beautiful wood-carved icon stand, the marble floor and the rich decoration.
The highlights of the monastery include a library, established by Agios Christodoulos and a museum located next to the bakery. The library includes 2,000 volumes, 13,000 historic documents and 900 manuscripts and 30 of these manuscripts were bequeathed to the monastery by the successor of Christodoulos. Other prized possessions include Savens, the collection of Nikiforos Laodikias, works of ecclesiastic father codes, biographies of saints and others.
The museum houses valuable objects, superb icons, ecclesiastical utensils, sacred relics, vestments embroiled with silver or gold threads and bejeweled with precious stones and various garments that constitute the treasury of the monastery. The monastery celebrates the feast of Agios Ioannis Theologos on the 8th of May and the feast includes only a ceremony in the church.