Chora has a lot of impressive mansions, mostly built on the Skala –side of the hill. Ship owners and merchants were living in these houses and they could watch their ships coming back home in the harbour of Skala.
Some of them along the road to the monastery now houses shops and you can take a look inside and see parts of these impressive buildings. One of these houses, just where you are leaving the road and turn off to the right on the stairway, belonged to our ancestors and nowadays still is named the Paleologo-home. At the back the house is adjacent to the monastery.
In 1830 it was donated by one of the Paleologo’s to the Monastery, which used it last century it as a guesthouse for their visitors. Nowadays the house is let and used as a summer residence. Although we tried to find the housekeeper, we didn’t succeed and couldn’t take a quick look inside.
If anyone knows more about this Paleologo family or the Paleologo-home on Patmos please contact me.
Library of the Monastery of St. John
The library of the Monastery of St. John was also created by the blessed Christodoulos in 1088 at the same time as the monastery itself. Nowadays it is housed in a new building, but has the same style as the other buildings. It is considered being one of the most important libraries of the Orthodox Church. It contains more than 1000 manuscript codices, roughly 5000 books and 13.000 documents about the history of the monastery and Patmos. Today, organised according to the modern methods of library science, it is available to scholars of Byzantine history.
In every brochure or book about Patmos and the Monastery one can read about the famous library. And it looks like this library can be visited by public, but actually is an absolute ‘off the beaten path’ site and only accessible for students and on invitation.
In our search for our Paleologo ancestors we brought some more than 200 years old documents (copies) with stamps of the monastery. We showed them to a monk and they were very interested. So we were invited by the librarian and we were able to take a look behind the massive doors inside the library of St. John’s Monastery.
We saw the room with the books and original manuscripts and in an office closets with original documents, among them a couple of our ancestors. We were even allowed to make some pictures.
All together it was a remarkable and unexpected visit to this really off the beaten path place.
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
On the far northern part of the island is a beach called Lambi Beach. It is known for the unique rocks that can be collected on the shore side -- unlike anything I have seen. Though tourists and locals have been collecting these rocks for ages, plenty remain to be found. It makes for a relaxing day, as it is not a tourist hot spot, and being right on the ocean, it offers a lot for a unique day of relaxation. Spending the day rock-hunting makes for cheaper souveniours as well! They are crazily unique.
- Adventure Travel