Patmos is famous for being the location for the writing of Revelation. This small island combines the charm and beauty of a typical Greek Island with the tranquility and reverence of a sacred space. It is the northernmost island of the Dodecanese Islands in the Aegean Sea. It is a small and mountainous island, about 7 miles long and 3 miles wide, with a ragged coastline. Here John recorded his Revelation, including the letters to the seven churches:
- I John, your brother, who share with you in Jesus the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.” (Rev. 1:9-11)
Under the Romans, Patmos was a place of banishment. Roman authorities exiled John to the island for some months in about A.D. 95. It has been suggested that one can find the reflection of the rugged hills and surrounding seas in the imagery of the Revelation.
From the center of the island an ancient path ascended two miles to the town of Patmos, 427 feet above sea level. The monastery of St. John was founded in 1088 on a summit overlooking the town. From the location of the monastery, 885 feet above sea level, the view is inspiring. If John enjoyed such a view, it was certainly conducive to receiving his Revelation.