You may not have heard of the Greek town of Elefsina, on the outskirts of Athens, but that's about to change. Terina and Veronika travelled here for our first official meeting of the European Capital of Culture family, hosted by the 2023EΛΕVΣΙΣ (Eleusis 2023) team, and were enchanted by Elefsina.
First official meeting of the European Capitals of Culture family
Veronika Juricová, Programme Assistant, offers 5 reasons why you too will have a great time at Elefsina:
1. Food: feta prepared in all ways (fried, with honey, melted, with raisins, with cream,...), olives, tzatziki, Greek salad, baklava, dolmades, fish, wine... Should I go on? In the city center you will find a never-ending street with both traditional and less traditional restaurants or small businesses offering a variety of Greek cuisine. Yum!
Symposium in a non-traditional cultural centre in Elefsina
2. History: In the ancient past, the so-called Eleusinian Mysteries took place here, mysterious religious ceremonies that are still not fully known today. They were dedicated to the goddess Démétér and after the consecration they gave people hope for the afterlife. That mystery has remained here and can be found in almost every alleyway. Just walk around and watch the abandoned buildings that have their own stories.
3. Present: Elefsina has been transformed from a fishing village into a bustling industrial town. Today it is a modern city that has won awards for urban renewal and performance in the fields of ecology and recycling. It is about 30 km from Athens and has about 30 000 inhabitants. And from what we've seen, another half could be made up of cats and dogs.
4. Sea: Those who haven't experienced it cannot know what a crystal-clear sea looks like.
5. European Capital of Culture: Elefsina will be the European Capital of Culture next year (2023), but we felt as if it was already a center of culture. Culture in unconventional places, warm-hearted communities, streets with orange trees filled with artistic performances, a concert next to an abandoned building... If Elefsina is like this already, what will it be like next year?
Thank you Elefsina, we will come again! And what about you?
Programme Assistant Trenčín 2026
Photos from: Facebook Eleusis 2023