About halfway up to the Monastery of Agios Ioannis on Patmos is the Cave of the Apocalypse. This sacred grotto is believed to mark the spot where Agios Ionannis received his visions from Christ that he recorded in the Book of Revelation.
Agios Ioannis the Theologian, commonly identified with the Apostle Ioannis, was exiled on Patmos around 95 AD and received revelations from God by means of a voice from a cleft in the rock.
The Saint made the cave his home during his exile by the Roman Emperor Domitian and as a result, the cave became the centre of his revelation, which he dictated to his disciple Prohorus and this led to the creation of the Book of the Apocalypse, or Revelation, the last book of the Bible.
It is thought by some scholars that Ioannis was from Ephesus, which is a short boat ride from Patmos and which received the first of the letters addressed to the Seven Churches of Revelation.
A sanctuary and the Monastery of the Apocalypse were later built around the cave that tradition identified as the site of Ioannis’ visions.
The cave entrance is marked with a mosaic portraying the visions of Ioannis and inside the small grotto, you can see the nightly resting place of Ioannis’ head, fenced off and outlined in beaten silver. Seven silver lamps have been hung in the cave of which the largest is above the place where the Saint slept using a rock as a pillow that still exists in the cave. Presently, a monk and/or spiritual leader sits on the rock and tells the story of the Apocalypse and how the book was written. The cave has a few niches in the stone from where John rested his head and another from his hand, in the shallow cave. Also, a triple fissure can be seen from where Saint John heard the voice of God and which represented the Holy Trinity.
The Cave, which is a world heritage site by UNESCO, has attracted thousands of visitors to Patmos and is a leading destination for religious pilgrims.
To be precise, it’s located halfway between the Port of Patmos in Skala and Patmos Town. The place is also known as the Holy Grotto and is a fine example of a traditional pilgrimage centre.
In the Bible, John of Patmos has written: “I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. On the Lord’s Day, I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet…” (Revelation 1:9-10).