Cave of the Apocalypse, Patmos

About halfway up to the Monastery of St. John on Patmos is the Cave of the Apocalypse. This sacred grotto is believed to mark the spot where St. John received his visions from Christ that he recorded in the Book of Revelation.

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In the Bible

"I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. On the Lord's Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet..." (Revelation 1:9-10)

History of the Cave of the Apocalypse

St. John the Theologian, commonly identified with the Apostle John, was exiled on Patmos around 95 AD and received revelations from God by means of a voice from a cleft in the rock.

It is thought by some scholars that John was from Ephesus, which is a short boat ride from Patmos and which received the first of the letters addressed to the Seven Churches of Revelation.

A sanctuary and the Monastery of the Apocalypse were later built around the cave that tradition identified as the site of John's visions.

What to See at the Cave of the Apocalypse

The cave entrance is marked with a mosaic portraying the visions of John and inside the small grotto, you can see the nightly resting place of John's head, fenced off and outlined in beaten silver.

Available here is a brochure written by Archimandrite Koutsanellos, Superior of the Cave, which provides an excellent description of the religious significance of each niche in the rocks, as well as the many icons in the cave.

Quick Facts on the Cave of the Apocalypse

Site Information
Names:Cave of the Apocalypse
Categories:biblical sites; caves
Status: active
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:37.309951° N, 26.547330° E
Address:Patmos, Greece
Phone:22470/31-234
Hours:May-Aug Sun 8am-1pm and 2-6pm, Mon 8am-1:30pm, Tues-Wed 8am-1:30pm and 2-6pm, Thurs-Sat 8am-1:30pm. Otherwise, hours vary.
Lodging:View hotels near the Cave of the Apocalypse
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours and prices can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

References

  1. Island Guide: Patmos - The Times Online, May 9, 2004
  2. Reviews of the Cave of the Apocalypse, Patmos - TripAdvisor

More Information

A monk at the Cave of the Apocalypse. © Martin Gray
Interior of the Cave of the Apocalypse. © Martin Gray
View of Patmos from the cave. © Angie Fried

Map of the Cave of the Apocalypse, Patmos

Below is a location map and aerial view of the Cave of the Apocalypse. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.