Monastery of St. John, Greece

The Monastery of St. John the Divine (Agios Ioannis o Theologos), also known as the Monastery of St. John the Theologian, is a fortified Orthodox monastery on the island of Patmos in Greece.


History of Monastery of St. John

In 1088, the Byzantine Emperor Alexios Komnenos gave the island of Patmos to the soldier-priest Ionnis Khristodhoulos "the Blessed." The greater part of the monastery was completed by Khristodhoulos in just three years. Its heavily fortified exterior was necessitated by the threats of piracy and Seljuk Turks.

What to See at Monastery of St. John

The monastery consists of interconnecting courtyards, chapels, stairways, arcades, galleries and roof terraces. Hidden in the walls are fragments of an ancient temple of Artemis that was destroyed in the 11th century. The main chapel is lovely, as is the adjoining Chapel of the Theotokos, whose frescoes date from the 12th century.

The Treasury has an impressive array of religious art and treasure, mainly consisting of icons of the Cretan school. The star exhibits are an unusual mosaic icon of Agios Nikolaos and the 11th-century parchment granting the island to Khristodhoulos.

About halfway up (or down) the cobbled path that leads here is the Cave of the Apocalypse, the very place where St. John is believed to have received his revelations.

Getting There

You can either take a KTEL bus up to the monastery (it runs regularly) or take the 40-minute walk along a beautiful old cobbled path that begins on the main road in Hora.

Quick Facts on Monastery of St. John

Site Information
Names:Monastery of St. John
Dedication: St. John
Status: active
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:37.309200° N, 26.548145° E
Hours:May-Aug Sun 8am-1pm and 2-6pm, Mon 8am-1:30pm, Tue-Wed 8am-1:30pm and 2-6pm, Thu-Sat 8am-1:30pm. Otherwise, hours vary
Lodging:View hotels near Monastery of St. John
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.


  1. Monastery of St. John, Theologian - The Plaka
  2. Reviews of the Cave of the Apocalypse, Patmos - TripAdvisor
  3. Monastery of St. John - IgoUgo user review
  4. Island Guide: Patmos - The Times Online, May 9, 2004
  5. Map of the Monastery of St. John - Planetware

More Information

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