Archaeological Site of Elefsina near Athens

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Location: Elefsina

The town of Elefsina was a significant religious and cultural center for many centuries in Ancient Greece, leaving behind what is now known as the Archeological Site of Elefsina.
Findings suggest that the region has been inhabited since the prehistoric period, although the town's extensive development occurred around 2000 BC.

During the Mycenaean Period, the first temple dedicated to Demeter, the goddess of nature and grains, was constructed on the Acropolis of Elefsina.
A complex fortification system surrounded the town and the acropolis and parts of its walls are still located there.

Rituals dedicated to Demeter were local in the beginning, although over the years, the entire region of Athens started to celebrate the goddess.
This led to the establishment of the annual Eleusinian Mysteries, one of the biggest ancient rites practiced every year in Athens during autumn and spring, for more than 1000 years!

The original temple of Demeter was destroyed and rebuilt around 500 BC. The ancient celebrations started to decline around the 4th century BC and so did the temple, until it was ultimately abandoned.

The very first archeological excavations in the area started in 1812, although excavation works took place many more times in the past, with the last ones being in the 1990s.
Findings retrieved from the site date to the Mycenaean, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods.
Scattered around the site of the acropolis, you will encounter the remnants of sculptures, columns, statues, a fountain, the Propylaea gateways, a Roman temple of Poseidon and Artemis and the Plutonian cave among others.

In addition, an on-site archeological museum exhibits findings from both the archeological site and the ancient necropolis of Elefsina.

Elefsina was declared European Capital of Culture in 2021 due to its rich historical and cultural background, having been one of the most important religious centers of antiquity in Greece.

How to get there

There are many ways to reach the Archaeological Site of Elefsina from any location in Athens.

Private transfers: We recommend using an online pre-booked transfer service, which provides transfer by taxi, minibus, or private VIP car and arranging a pickup directly from the port, airport, or your hotel. Alternatively, there’s the option of arranging a pickup by a local driver directly at the following numbers: (0030) 18288, (0030) 18222, (0030) 18180. You can also book your taxi online.

Car rental: There is the option of renting a car and picking it up directly from the airport, port, or your hotel. Using a rental car allows visitors to discover the Archaeological Site of Elefsina and many other places of interest in Athens at their own pace.

By bus/trolleybus: The closest bus stop is "OTE". Check the routes and the official timetables on OASA Telematics.



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