History of Elefsis

Elefsina, a city with a population of 30,000 inhabitants and at a distance of 20 km from Athens, is known for its ancient and modern industrial history. In ancient times it was for 2000 years (1600 BC-400 AD) one of the five sacred cities with the Eleusinian Mysteries attracting pilgrims from all over the then known world. The name of the city becomes even bigger thanks to the great tragic poet Aeschylus.

14 centuries followed during which Eleusis fell into obscurity. In 1827 after the liberation from the Turkish occupation and the creation of the first Greek state, Elefsina was a small town of 250 inhabitants, of Arvanite origin. In the 1860s, Eleusis began to change its appearance with the construction of new houses and the installation of occasional merchants. Its slow course was accelerated by the construction of the railway line (1884) and the intersection of the Isthmus of Corinth.

The decisive year is the 1880s, when industrial development began. The CHARILAOU Soap Factory (1875), the TITAN cement industry (1902), the VOTRYS distilleries (1906) and KRONOS (1922) are founded. 1877 The first approval of the "road plan of the town of Elefsina". 1914 The Port Fund is established. In the 11th century BC. inhabitants from Eleusis had transferred to the land of Ionia the worship of the goddess Demeter. In 1922, 2000 refugees from Asia Minor arrived in pursuit of Eleusis, doubling its population. 1923 the first discussion in the Community Council for the installation of electric light bulbs in streets and squares 1924 the clock is placed on the hill of Antiquities 1936 Creation of a military airport.

In 1943 the Community of Elefsina becomes a Municipality. In April 1941 the German occupation begins. The airport is occupied by the Germans. Italian soldiers patrol the city. From October 1941 the deaths from the "disease of hunger" begin. During the German occupation (1941-1945) strong resistance developed inside the city, in the factories and at the military airport. The organization of the EAM with the supply of clothing, footwear, food but also with information about the movements of the enemy, offered valuable help to the people but also to the armed guerrilla units. In August 1942 in Dervenochoria was organized the first guerrilla group, whose action spread throughout Attica and Boeotia. After the Second World War, workers from all parts of Greece came to our city to work in the industries of the region. The industrial activity, however, developed anarchically on the antiquities and next to the residential area. Environmental pollution has taken on great proportions. In the 21st century, the era of sustainable development, archaeological history and recent industrialization shape the image of modern Eleusis. Pollution has also been reduced thanks to citizens' struggles. The Municipality is struggling to recover the inactive factories, which will house the modern industrial and technological history. Elefsina has now been awarded for its urban renewal and its performance in ecology and recycling. AESCHYLEIA, in honor of Aeschylus, since 1975 is the leading cultural event of Eleusis and takes place in September, the same period that in Antiquity the Eleusinian Mysteries took place.

The hill of antiquities and the Museum are located in the center of the city, while the Holy Road that connected Elefsina with Athens crosses the city and its traces are preserved today. The post-Byzantine churches of Agios Zacharias (in Heroes Square) and Panagitsa (in the archeological site) are preserved.

Festivals take place on April 23, for the patron saint of the city Agios Georgios, on May 21 (Saints Constantine and Helen), on June 29 (12 Apostles) and on April 16 of Zoodochos Pigi.


The Aisxylia Festival is a stable institution of culture for the artists to express their artistic and pioneering creations.44th year, this year, the Aisxylia Festival consistently forms an artistic program, constantly quality, timely but also renewed. The successful course in the cultural events, through collaborations with artists, cultural institutions, and organizations, sets high goals for what the festival will present each year. The Aisxylia Festival every year takes care to give the opportunity to artists - creators, all types of art, to present their works and to create works, inspired by the city of Elefsina.

Its particularly beautiful urban environment, historical past, modern industrial history, and human experiences are emerging through a unique artistic presence within its program. Works of art and expression, which have evolved in the history of the country and the country! Culture was established in the city of Elefsina and at its core lies the relationship of man, in complete interaction with the Aisxylia Festival. The challenge to attract and gives the opportunity to express new forms of art redefines and creates new goals for creations, constantly drawing new steps in the course of the Aisxylia Festival in the future. This is the perpetual force that offers to culture with this Co Aisxylia of the Festival.

Elefsina cultural capital of Europe for 2021

ElEUsis21 is a laboratory that emerges from the creative encounter and association of Eleusis and Europe and cultivates in the fertile land of Eleusis the seed of creativity, innovation, and knowledge. From today until 2021, we aspire to bring here the most original ideas, the most innovative actions. Citizens, residents, institutions, and organizations of the city are the farmers of these ideas, the ideas that will form the backbone of the Eleusis program as the European Capital of Culture for 2021. The residents and citizens of Eleusis are actively involved in designing the candidacy through the Creative Citizens Network and Ideas Labs. ElEUsis21's big lab gets flesh and bones through the individual Ideas Workshops that shape different city groups.