Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
42Trip End Nov 30, 2005
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We visited two places on the island, the Grotto of St. John and the monastery of St. John. The Grotto is apparently where John received his revelation, and where one of his students wrote it down as he dictated it, but there is no evidence of that except for the fact that this little cave is on the right island. I would rather think of it as a place similar to the place he wrote it instead the THE place, but that's just me. There is a small chapel built outside the cave that extends into the cave and is dedicated to St. Anne (the mother of Mary) and was built in A.D. 1088. John was in Ephesus in A.D
After leaving the Grotto, we went up to the top of the island and visited the monastery. It is a Greek Orthodox monastery, and the sanctuary is set up kind of like the Jewish temples used to be. As you go in, it gets holier. There were several mosaics and frescos which were really pretty. The building used to be a temple to Diana (Artemis), was turned into a monastery in the shape of a boat, and then into a fortress, so it's very interesting architecturally. You can still see elements from all three periods in the building. At one point I was leaning on a column from the temple period, looking at frescos from the monastery period, and seeing walls in the background that were from the fortress period. It was cool. Currently, it is monastery that houses 15 monks who are in charge of the library and restoration
Inside the monastery they have a huge library which is pretty cool. No one is allowed in, but they have a museum with several of the manuscripts displayed. We saw 30 pages of the oldest manuscript of Mark, and the contract that handed the island of Patmos over to the man that explored it and found the Grotto.
One more thing, the sea between Patmos and another island is named after the son in the myth where the man and his son make wings, but the son flies too high and falls into the sea. Apparently, this is the sea where he fell.