Eleusinian Sanctuary Private Tour
It is located in the city of Eleusis – near Athens. In the ancient world, it was not only extremely popular but also the most revered and respected place. Here the greatest initiations into the mysteries of life and death took place, initiation rites in the cults of the fertility goddesses Demeter and Persephone, which were held annually in Eleusis.
The appearance of the first sanctuary in Eleusis dates back to about the 15th century BC. e. Participation in the annual mysteries, lasting about 9 days, could be taken by anyone who spoke the Greek language, even slaves. According to some researchers, all participants in the mystery took a drug with psychotropic substances from barley ergot.
Cicero also wrote to his friend Atticus: “If your beloved Athens, in my opinion, created many exceptional and divine things and made it the property of man, then the best thing is the mysteries, thanks to which we, wild and cruel people, were re-educated in the spirit of humanity and softness, were admitted, as they say, to the sacraments and truly learned the basics of life and learned not only to live with joy but also to die with hope for the best.”
How high was the authority of the Eleusinian sanctuary, in the ancient world says the episode with the Roman emperor Nero, who came to Greece to conquer the Greeks morally, participating in all conceivable and inconceivable competitions of the Greeks, forcing them to lose, and thereby insulting their gods, who were these competitions are dedicated, but… only in Eleusis was he refused to participate in the initiation and… was forced, like a naughty boy, to meekly endure the humiliation.
With the advent of Christianity in the 4th century AD. e. The Eleusinian mysteries were forbidden. The temple complex gradually fell into disrepair and was subsequently destroyed by the Visigoths.
Here, the archaeological complex is quite large, with the remains of buildings, mostly from the Roman period. Now from the former buildings of the sanctuary, the temple of the goddess Demeter, the Holy Court, the Small and Large Propylae, and the small temple of Pluto, only stone platforms with steps, the bases of columns, and some architectural fragments remain. Worth a visit is the Eleusinian Archaeological Museum. The extensive and varied collection of the museum includes magnificent ceramics, Eleusinian amphoras depicting scenes from Greek mythology, sculptures, fragments of architecture, and much more. Most of the exhibits are related to the Eleusinian mysteries. Eleusis attracts many lovers of ancient Greek culture. Today, in the modern suburbs of Athens, you can see the ruins of this ancient city, which have become a historical monument.