The Monastery of Saint John the Theologian
(Η Μονή του Αγίου Ιωάννου του Θεολόγου)
The Monastery of Saint John the Theologian was founded in 1088 by Christodoulos (Greek, Ο Όσιος Χριστόδουλος, the Blessed Christodoulos; the name means "Servant of Christ"), also known as the Blessed Christodoulos Latrinos of Patmos, an abbot from Nicaea in Bithynia (today İznik, northwestern Turkey), who is thought to have lived around 1020-1093 AD.
Christodoulos gained the permission and support for building the monastery directly from the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos (Ἀλέξιος Αʹ Κομνηνός, 1048 or 1056-1118; ruled 1081-1118). A golden bull (chrysobull) in the form of a long scroll containing the written permission and foundation deed, signed and sealed in gold by the emperor, is kept in the monastery treasury (see below).
The site, on a 500 metre high hill more or less in the centre of the island, was formerly occupied by a church which had been built in the 4th century over the remains of a temple and sanctuary of the Greek goddess Artemis, the patron deity of the Patmos in antiquity. An inscription kept at the monastery, dated to the second century AD, refers to Vera, a priestess of Artemis Scythia and her temple, and calls Patmos "the most august island of the daughter of Leto" (Artemis and Apollo were the twin children of Zeus and Leto). Two large marble slabs from the temple are used as tables for the monk's refectory.
Over the centuries further building continued at the monastery, including the construction of ten chapels, apparently made necessary by a law which forbade mass being held in a chapel more than once a day. The Chapel of Christodoulos, on the right of the main courtyard, contains his tomb and a silver reliquary.
The strong walls of the fortress-like monastery were built 15 metres high as protection against pirates and other invaders.
There are several icons and frescoes of saints and holy scenes around the monastery, but its most-prized objects are displayed in the treasury. The museum-like section contains a collection of precious jewels, 300 pieces of silverware and 200 icons.
The library (not open to the public) contains around 1,200 handwritten codices, 13,000 documents and 4,500 archetypes and incunabula. One of the most precious books is the 6th century "Purple Codex", 33 purple parchment leaves with extracts from the Gospel of Saint Mark written in silver.
The monastery also has a workshop for the conservation and repair of its treasures.
Summer (April - October): Every day 8 am - 1.30 pm
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday also 4 - 6 pm
Winter (November to March): Every day 8 am - 1 pm
Closed on the first three days of Lent.
Admission to the Treasury 6 Euros 
(Same opening times as the Monastery and Cave of the Apocalypse.)
Tel: +30 22470 20800, 31223
Fax: +30 22470 34098
website: www.patmosmonastery.gr (Greek only)