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Saint John Monastery Chora

Saint John Monastery Chora

The monastery of St. John Evangelist also known as Theologo in Greece dominate the island of Patmos. It is located on the top of the hill of Chora. It was built by Saint Christodoulos.

The monk wanted to build a monastery over the cave but because it would have been to exposed to the pirates he choose this strategic position. Part of the floor of the monastery was previously belonging to temple dedicated to a greek god.

The Emperor of Costantinople gave special rights to St. Christodoulos and all the help needed in terms of money and workers.

Today pilgrim can visit the monastery since 1999 is a UNESCO world heritage site.

The view from there is absolutely stunning and on a clear day you can see Leros, Kalymnos, Lipsi, Samos, Ikaria, Fourni, Arki, Marathi islands and the turkish mountains.

From the richly decorated porch you will enter the nartex with other frescos and on the right side you will have access to a chapel of the relics including the body of St. Christodoulos on a silver coffin. Going in the direction of the church you will be entering the naos or nave of the church also richly decorated with dom on top.
The Iconostasi is separated this part of the church from the bema which is the place where only priests are allowed to prepare the Holy Gifts for Communion, this part can also be called altar or sanctuary.

Everything in a orthodox church is put in a place for very important reasons which is different from other denominations that can move things where they want around the church.

Leaving the main church of the monastery also known Katholikon, it has nothing to do with catholic latin roman, there is another chapel.
Going outside from there you can go back to the cloister or on the opposite direction you can visit the old refectory.
Back in cloister on the opposite side of the church on the left side you will find the stairs to visit the museum of the monastery and the local shop. Entry ticket required.

A very small shop with some souvenirs is also available in the corner of the cloister.

The monastery is usually open in the morning, some afternoon it does open after 16:30 or 17:00 only during the tourist season.

Please note cruiseships arrives usually in the afternoon and the monastery of St. John in Chora and the monastery of Apocalypse can become extremely busy. If you can avoid those times.

From Skala to Chora you can go with your own vehicle or with the public bus, some people even walk. I like to go up with the bus and go back walking to make a stop at the Holy cave of Apocalypse.

Christian orthodox pilgrims can attend celebrations after requesting permission to the Abbot at least a day before.

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