ELEFSINA, a town in the historic region of Attica, west of Athens, is one of the three European Capitals of Culture for 2023.
Elefsina, also known as Eleusis, has a rich archaeogological history stretching back many centuries covering both Ancient Greece and Roman times. In the 19th and 20th centuries, it develpoped into an industrial city.
In Ancient Greece, Eleusis was the site of the Eleusinian Mysteries, one of the most famous secret religious rites of ancient Greece. These were initiations held every year for the cult of Demeter and Persephone.
Elefsina is also the birthplace of the ancient Greek tragedian Aeschylus, who is often described as the father of Greek tragedy.
Aeschylus, who lived between the 6th and 5th centuries BC, is said to have written between 70 and 90 plays but only seven have surved until today.He developed the genre of Greek tragedy, adding more characters, scene decoration and made costumes more dramatic. His plays, written in verse, are stories about the gods or are set far away from Greeece, and are moral and religious.
Elefsina honours Aeschylus each year with the Aeschylia Festival, founded in 1975, at an open-air theatre at the seafront at a former soap factory.
The artistic programme for 2023 is entitled “Mysteries of Transition”.
The opening ceremony took place last weekend (4th and 5th February). It was inspired by the history and the mythology of the city: the Processions and the link between the Upper World and the Underworld.
Throughout the year 465 events are taking place, involving 130 projects.
The three main elements of the programme are
– and labour.
Environment will have a special focus as it is inextricably linked with the challenges Elefsina is facing as an industrial city.
For the programme in detail click here.
Find more information here.