ELEFSINA (also known by its Ancient Greek name ‘Eleusis’)
The ATTIKO SCHOOL OF ANCIENT GREEK DRAMA is held in the historical city of Elefsina, located just 18 km away from the center of Athens (approximately 35 minutes). The choice of Elefsina as the location of the ATTIKO SCHOOL was not a random one. Elefsina was the birthplace of the great Ancient Greek tragedian Aeschylus and was the home of the. It is also the birthplace and home of Martha Frintzila, director of the School, and she feels it is essential to bring to light Elefsina's rich history and artistic legacy.
Despite of the fact that it was one of the biggest worship locations and holiest cities of the Ancient Greek world, it has not received the recognition that its history and legacy deserve. While Athens has become the capital of the Greek State, Olympia and Delphi are widely visited, and the holy island of Delos has been preserved as an archaeological site, Elefsina has suffered a fate of human greediness and been turned into an industrial city. The city’s privileged location, its proximity to Athens, its function as a transportation hub, its fertile lands and its natural harbor have been a blessing and a curse throughout the centuries.
The pull between the city’s holy ancient past and industrial present makes it an appropriate site for the discovery, examination, and interpretation of Ancient Greek Drama today. We cannot only look to a place’s distant and historical past while ignoring its recent past and present. It would seem truly short-sighted to study one of Elefsina’s ancient inhabitants as if he lived and dwelled only in books and not on the same soil that we dwell upon today. We wish to unearth Elefsina’s past from its modern confines in the same way that we wish to translate the mystery of Ancient Greek Drama to contemporary society.
The Old Oil Mill of Eleusis
The premises of the ATTIKO SCHOOL are located in the Old Oil Mill Factory located just across from the gulf of Elefsina. The Old Oil Mill Factory has in recent years become an arts exhibition center and the location of the Aeschyleia Theater Festival since it has an open air theatre.
The architectural uniqueness and aesthetic value of inactive industrial sites but also their emotional value for local communities undoubtedly dictate their promotion and maintenance as locations of technological and architectural heritage. The reuse of obsolete industries for cultural and educational purposes is considered appropriate, since these buildings are themselves alive schools and museums due to their history.
The Old Oil Mill at Eleusis was mainly chosen because of the need to consider the industrial monuments as information milestones, as cultural and historical prints engraved with cultural and environmental influences. Additionally, the proximity of the Old Oil Mill to the archaeological site makes the necessity of preserving the industrial heritage -along with the preservation of the archaeological and historic cultural heritage- even more apparent.