b The book of Revelation >
The location of Revelation

The island of Patmos is part of modern Greece. It is a small island in the eastern Aegean sea. From its central hill you can see both Turkey (the site of the "seven churches" in the Book of Revelation) and the island of Samos, the ancient home of Pythagoras.

The Biblical "Asia" is modern Turkey. The seven cities are all located in the western third of Turkey. You can find them on a Bible Atlas, or on a detailed modern map. Ephesus, near the coast and opposite Samos, has spectacular ruins of the ancient city.

Patmos may have been uninhabited or only occasionally visited when John was exiled there early in the first century. There is little natural source of fresh water, exile would be tough.

Not much is known about any residents of the island prior to the start of a monastery in the 11th century. This is somewhat odd as a close neighbor island, Samos, has a well known history back to classical times.

Now there is a lively town and ferry connections. If you visit there you can see the cave of the Revelation, where tradition says John lived and wrote. A fifth century document gave other stories about John, and traditional locations for those sites are marked at various points around the island.

The island is beautiful, a stunning fairy-tale setting.

Please visit my site on Greece for a detailed tour of Patmos.
Last updated 3/9/08; first posted 11/26/00; © 2008, 2000 John P. Nordin