Eleusis on the Saronic Gulf

Saturday, 25 September 2021 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, European Union, European Capital of Culture
Reading Time:  4 minutes

General view of sanctuary of Demeter and Kore and the Telesterion center for the Eleusinian Mysteries © flickr.com - Carole Raddato/cc-by-sa-2.0

General view of sanctuary of Demeter and Kore and the Telesterion center for the Eleusinian Mysteries © flickr.com – Carole Raddato/cc-by-sa-2.0

Eleusis is a suburban town and municipality in West Attica Regional unit in Greece. It is situated about 18 kilometres (11 miles) northwest from the centre of Athens and is part of its metropolitan area. It is located in the Thriasian Plain, at the northernmost end of the Saronic Gulf. North of Eleusis are Mandra and Magoula, while Aspropyrgos is to the northeast.

It is the site of the Eleusinian Mysteries and the birthplace of Aeschylus. Today, Eleusis is a major industrial centre, with the largest oil refinery in Greece as well as the home of the Aeschylia Festival, the longest-lived arts event in the Attica Region. On 11 November 2016, Eleusis was named the European Capital of Culture for 2021.

The ruins of the Telesterion at the Sanctuary of Demeter in Eleusis with a view to the modern town © George E. Koronaios View of the lower area of Elefsina from Eleusis © Davide Mauro/cc-by-sa-4.0 Saint George's Cathedral © Davide Mauro/cc-by-sa-4.0 The Paleo-Christian church of Agios Zaharias © George E. Koronaios The Plutonion at the Sanctuary of Demeter © George E. Koronaios General view of sanctuary of Demeter and Kore and the Telesterion center for the Eleusinian Mysteries © flickr.com - Carole Raddato/cc-by-sa-2.0
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General view of sanctuary of Demeter and Kore and the Telesterion center for the Eleusinian Mysteries © flickr.com - Carole Raddato/cc-by-sa-2.0
In 1829, after the Greek War of Independence, Eleusis was a small settlement of about 250 inhabitants. By the late 19th century Eleusis changed drastically as new buildings were erected by the new merchant settlers. Also during that period Eleusis became one of the main industrial centers of the Modern Greek state with concrete factory TITAN, Charilaou Soap Factory as well as the distilleries of Botrys and Kronos being established in the area.

Many Greek families of Asia Minor settled in Elefsina after the 1922 Asia Minor Catastrophe and created the settlement of Upper Elefsina, doubling its total population and enriching the region culturally and economically.

During the Axis occupation of Greece (1941–1945), strong resistance developed within the city, the factories and the military airport, which once stationed Squadron 80, the squadron that Roald Dahl was assigned to in the RAF. After World War II, workers from all parts of Greece moved to Elefsina to work in the industries in the region. Industrial activity, however, developed anarchically on the antiquities and next to the residential area.

Environmental pollution has taken on large dimensions. During the 20th century, at the time of sustainable development, archaeological discoveries and industrial formation shaped the image of contemporary Eleusis.

In 1962, a large house of priests from the Roman era was discovered. Pollution thanks to citizens’ struggles gradually has fallen.

Today, the city has become a suburb of Athens, to which it is linked by the Motorway 6 and Greek National Road 8. Eleusina is nowadays a major industrial area, and the place where the majority of crude oil in Greece is imported and refined. The largest refinery is located on the west side of town, right beside where the annual Aeschylia Festival is held in honor of the great tragic poet Aeschylus.

There is a military airport a few kilometers east of Eleusis. Eleusis Airfield played a crucial role in the final British evacuation during the 1941 Battle of Greece, as recounted by Roald Dahl in his autobiography Going Solo.

Read more on Elefsina and Wikipedia Eleusis (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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