Elefsina

Eleusis (Greek: Ελευσίνα Elefsina, Ancient Greek: Ἐλευσίς Eleusis) is town and municipality in West Attica Regional unit in Greece. 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.

Eleusis was a deme of ancient Attica, belonging to the phyle Hippothoöntis. It owed its celebrity to its being the chief seat of the worship of Demeter and Persephone, and to the mysteries celebrated in honour of these goddesses, which were called the Eleusinia, and continued to be regarded as the most sacred of all the Grecian mysteries down to the fall of paganism.

Eleusis stood upon a height at a short distance from the sea, and opposite the island of Salamis. Its situation possessed three natural advantages. It was on the road from Athens to the Isthmus of Corinth; it was in a very fertile plain; and it was at the head of an extensive bay, formed on three sides by the coast of Attica, and shut in on the south by the island of Salamis. The town itself dates from the most ancient times.

The caves on the coast of Eleusis are home to a mythological place for the Greek world. There is a cave said to be the very spot where Persephone was abducted by Hades himself and the cave was considered a gateway to Tartarus. At the spot of this abduction was a sanctuary (Ploutonion) dedicated to the Hades and Persephone.

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