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Patmos island news and views

Patmos is located in the Aegean Sea south of the island of Samos and north of Leros, close to the Turkish coast. Patmos is small enough to allow the visitor to stand in the central hilltop Chora and see almost all its many highly indented bays. Patmos has history – St John was exiled here – and it has attractive scenery too as well as several excellent beaches. mostly in the east.

patmos st john monastery
Patmos on the tourist trail

Plans to promote the islandof Patmos as a top holiday destination will get off the ground this year. The Dodecanese island of Patmos has long been slightly off the Greek island holiday tourist trail but all that could be about to change over the coming years. Famous as the island where apostle St Paul wrote his Book of Revelation, the small island of Patmos also has several good sandy beaches and plenty of tourist infrastructure. The religious connection makes Patmos a popular port of call for Greek island cruises and its a favourite destination for Greeks. Now tourism leaders want to develop the island as a much better known international holiday destination. Greek government ministers met recently with island officials to discuss ways to promote Patmos as a holiday destination. Ministers particularly want not only to attract big spending high end tourists looking for luxury accommodation but to extend the tourist season beyond the high summer months. Plans are already in the pipeline to include Patmos in a visa-free pilot scheme which would allow non-EU visitors from Turkish ports to stay on the island without having to get a visa first. Ministers also plan to cut red tape for island hotel owners, ease the expansion of yacht marinas and promote Patmos at international tourism exhibitions. "Τhe uniqueness and religious tradition of Patmos are factors that can be further highlighted to boost arrivals to the island," said Greek Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni on a visit to the island. A new ferry route linking  Patmos to the islands of Samos, Kos and Kalymnos is also expected to launch next year. Shipping lines have already lodged bids to run the new ferry services between Samos, Patmos, Lipsi, Leros, Kalymnos and Kos The new ferry route will also be promoted at international tourism exhibitions to attract an early interest in Greek island holidays on Patmos. The island will also get two new desalination plants to resolve the problem of a drinking water shortage that has troubled Patmos for a number of years.

Patmos Festival of Sacred Music
Patmos piano shock

Hungry mice 'eat' Patmos festival piano. Hungry mice have 'eaten' their way through a grand piano on the holiday island of Patmos. The piano is used for one of the island's premier cultural attractions, the annual Patmos Festival of Sacred Music. Event organisers say the pianowas brought some years ago, at a cost of 13 million old Greek drachmas (about £30,000), by the Municipality of Patmos. The mice chomped through the wool felt hammers of the piano which had been stored in a municipal warehouse. When a piano tuner arrived on Patmos to tune the piano he found the mice has wrecked the instrument. He described the damage as 'devastating'. Officials at the Cultural Centre of Patmos, which stages the annual Sacred Music Festival, had been warned last year that better protection was needed for the valuable grand piano, the only one on the island. Officials were told that the expensive and delicate instrument should be stored in a suitable rodent-proof place, at a constant temperature and away from sunlight and moisture. Experts warned that the piano, a Yamaha C2, contained a large amount of wool felt and the main danger to the instrument was from an attack by moths. It was even suggested the piano be stored in a protective metal box, but culture officials opted for warehouse storage instead. Now experts say the cost of repairs may be prohibitive and the grand piano may have to be destroyed. The Festival of Sacred Music attracts many visitors to the Greek island of Patmos. It has been staged in September since 2001 and is considered one of the most important summer music events in the Greek Islands. The festival is held in the entrance to the Holy Cave of the Apocalypse where St John is thought to have written the bible's Book of Revelations and is a festival of spiritual and serious religious music. The Patmos attraction bring in a large number of visitors include Greeks and foreign tourists who flock to the festival.

Patmos festival of sacred music
Sacred music

Sacred music festival on Patmos. Visitors on a Patmos island holiday get the opportunity to enjoy another Festival of Sacred Music to be held on the island of Patmos this September. This year the festival takes places from Friday 2nd to Wednesday, September 7 with artistic director and conductor Alkis Baltas under the direction of the Cultural Centre of Patmos. In its 10 years of history the festival has attracted thousands of visitors to experience the special atmosphere of the events as well as enjoy the beauty of a Greek Island holiday. The festival is held at the sacred cave where St John is reputed to have lived and where he received inspiration for the Book of Revelations in the Holy Bible. The Artistic Director of Festival of Patmos, conductor Alkis Baltas, said: "Confronting the sacred cave where John wrote the Apocalypse only a spiritual and serious music festival could take place, and that's what we do." The festival attracts both Greek and foreign visitors who flock to enjoy the solemn and sacred venue at one of the most important pilgrimage centres in the Greek islands. This year's program is a blend of classical, religious and gospel music with medieval devotional songs, jazz compositions religious and gospel spirituals and blues. Artists include the Voyage Jazz Quartet, soprano Eleni Peta and the American Portland-based choir Cappella Romana. It is the first time in its 20-year history that Cappella Romana has travelled to Greece. There will be works by Scarlatti, Pergolezi and Duke Ellington as well as the first performance of a work by Bob Blazoudaki "St. Menas: Facing the Sea" written especially for the 11th Festival of Patmos. Entrance to the concerts is free and the 11th Festival of Sacred Music of Patmos is financially supported by the Municipality of Patmos, the Monastery of St. John the Theologian, the South-Aigio Dodecanese Department of Culture Ministry of Culture and the Ethniki bank network.

Patmos cave
Patmos revelations

Patmos play based on Revelations. Holidaymakers on the Dodecanese island of Patmos can drop in on a theatrical performance based on the Book of Revelations this week. The production of 'The Book of Revelation' is billed as the first ever dramatic event based on the Biblical work and will be staged at the Cave of the Apocalypse on Patmos by the Techni Theatre Company. A well as being a popular Greek island holiday destination, the Greek island of Patmos is also known as the 'Holy Island' where St John reputedly wrote the last book of the Bible while exiled there. The Monastery of St John dominates Patmos on the hilltop above and the cave where the saint was thought to have lived. The performance will feature excerpts from Revelations spoken in four languages and is accompanied by an original music score. It is set to be staged on the island of Patmos from July 26 to 30. The production is being staged under the auspices of the Holy Monastery of Patmos and the island's regional authorities. It is directed by Germany's Barbara Hoffmann and Till Sterzenbach. Patmos is one of the most delightful of the Greek islands, away from the main beach holiday centres. The island is small, with an attractive main port and several very fine sandy beaches. Thanks to a deep harbour in the main port of Skala, Patmos is a popular stopover for cruise ships and visitors are taken on daily trips for the monastery and also to the cave where he is said to have lived. John was exiled to Patmos in 95AD from Ephesus, and lived in a cave, now the Cave of the Apocalypse or the Sacred Grotto. According to tradition it was here that John dictated the Book of Revelation to his disciple Prochoros. The work is surreal in nature, difficult to understand and open to many interpretations. The entrance to the cave is about halfway along the road from Skala up to the monastery and is surrounded by several monastic buildings. A plaque at the cave has the inscription: 'As dreadful as this place is it is nevertheless the house of God and this the Gate of Heaven' The cave is quite large, but low. There is the triple cleft in the rock through which St John is said to have heard the voice of God and there are several niches that St John himself is said to have carved.