Patmos and a Story of Biblical Proportions

Windmills are a means to capture wind power on many Greek islands, including Patmos where these windmills are seen.

PATMOS ISLAND, Greece — Patmos is a very small place, only 13 square miles. Even New York City’s Manhattan is larger at 22 square miles.

So, maybe it is not so surprising that this was one of the places where the 1,200-passenger ship I was sailing on — Louis Cruises’ Louis Cristal — did not sail up to a dock but anchored in the waters nearby.

A tender carries passengers to Louis Cruises’ ship, the Louis Cristal, which is anchored here off Patmos in the Aegean.

We traveled into and out of Patmos on tenders. These were enclosed motorboats that held dozens of passengers and moved people back and forth fairly quickly.

We were allotted around four hours on the island late in a spring day, so sightseeing came first, while the sun was out.

Patmos is described as the island of John the Apostle and the place where he wrote the Bible’s Book of Revelation in around 95 AD. Assuming this belief is correct, John would have been quite elderly.

Sightseeing began for my small press contingent with a drive to the

hilltop Monastery of St. John the Theologian, founded in 1088. Our guide said the religious

The Monastery of St. John the Theologian with the white houses of Chora, the Patmos capital city, surrounding it.

establishment was built as a medieval fort at its hilltop site because of problems with pirates. The monastery is about 170 feet by 230 feet with walls about 50 feet high.

Houses line narrow and steep streets in the town of Chora, leading up to the 11th century Monastery of St. John the Theologian, on the island of Patmos.

The island’s capital Chora (population: 800), founded in the 13th century, surrounds the monastery.

From the parking space for our van, we had to climb through the streets of Chora and up more steps inside the monastery walls. This climb — on a Greek island in March — was uncomfortably windy and cold. When walking up or down, even around U-turn bends, it seemed the wind simply followed.

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