The Island of the Apocalypse
07.09.2009 33 °C
Patmos Island – Greece.
The first thing you notice when you approach Patmos, is the monastery of Saint John the Divine (or the Evangelist). Its presence is overwhelming. It looks like a Byzantine castle and was built like a fortress. It was founded in 1088 by Saint Christodoulos following a grant by the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos. The monastery’s walls are over 15 meters high, its length from north to south is 53 meters and from east to west 70 meters. It seems even larger when you stand at the entrance, noticing its thick walls and heavily reinforced door.
Above the entrance several meters high there is a small opening from which burning hot oil, water and even lead was poured over to attack pirates and other invaders trying to break the gate. This opening was called "the killer", and was considered the last resort for keeping the monastery safe. The monks used to sound the bells to warn the people of Patmos to take refuge behind the fortified walls, keeping Christianity safe as was intended by its founder, the blessed Christodoulos.
Patmos is mentioned in the Christian scriptural Book of Revelation. The book's introduction states that its author, John, was on Patmos when he was given and recorded a vision from Jesus Christ. Earliest Christian tradition identifies this writer as John the Apostle. As such, Patmos is a destination for Christian pilgrimage. Visitors can see the Cave of the Apocalypse where John is said to have received his Revelation.
More images at: Kevrekidis Photography
© 2009 Jordan Kevrekidis