Sights of Elephis


Elephis is a city formerly called Eleusis in Western Attica. It is located just 20 kilometers from Athens. It is one of the largest ports in Attica.

The first settlement on this site was founded in the Bronze Age, and the most famous fact of the ancient history of Eleusis is the annual mysteries in honor of the goddesses Demeter and Persephone, who were the patrons of agriculture, harvest, fertility.

The Eleusinian Mysteries were held from the 15th century BC. These were secret rites in which only the initiates participated. They were considered the most important, lasted for nine days and were associated with the myth of Demeter and her daughter Persephone, stolen by the king of the underworld. In an attempt to return her, Demeter announced that, until her daughter returns to the living world, not one sprout will hatch from the earth. However, people did not die of starvation, as an agreement was reached between Demeter and Hades that Persephone would spend only part of the year in the underworld. So in ancient myths, the interchangeability of the seasons, which was of great importance for agriculture, was reflected, and the time when Demeter was sad for her daughter, who was at Hades, was winter.

At the end of the XIX century, in Elephis, archaeologists discovered a number of buildings and structures of ancient and Roman times. These include part of the sacred road that led to Athens, fragments of several sanctuaries, the earliest of which were built in the VI century BC. e., meeting rooms during the Mysteries (television stadiums), as well as two triumphal arches and the sanctuary of Artemis, built by the Romans. Of course, such a rich history has given many exhibits for the Eleusinian Archaeological Museum. It was opened several years after the start of excavations in the city and its environs. The oldest artifacts in it date back to the 2nd millennium BC, and the most valuable are bas-reliefs and clay tablets with images of goddesses and the Eleusinian Mysteries (V-IV centuries BC). Most of the exhibition is dedicated to the early period of Christianity.

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Archaeological excavations

The ancient city and dem Eleusis (Greek) Russian. (Greek: Ἐλευσίς) belonged to the fillet of Hippotoontida.

The settlement in Elephis originated in the Neolithic era, according to another statement - in the Bronze Age.

In the 2nd millennium BC e. Elephis becomes the center of one of the Achaean states.

Named after the mythological hero Eleusis. From Eleusis came the legendary hero of Zarex. The place of the legendary burial alive Alope, which her lover Poseidon turned into a source.

Around the end of the VII century BC. e. became part of the Athenian state.

Elephis was the cult center of Demeter and Persephone: in the 1st millennium BC. e. Eleusinian Mysteries were held in it.

In 396, the city was destroyed by the Goths.

In 1835 a community was created, in 1912 (ΦΕΚ 262Α) - the Elephis community.

Archaeological excavations

Since 1882, excavations have been discovered:

  • Part of the sacred road leading from Athens to Elephis,
  • The remains of the sanctuaries of the VI century BC. e. - III century AD e.
  • Fragments of architectural monuments and complexes (necropolis with tolos and megarons (XV - XIII centuries BC), a sanctuary with the remains of the television stations of the times of Pericles, located one below the other,
  • Small and Large Propylaea,
  • Ancient Roman buildings (2 triumphal arches, the temple of Artemis).