Heritage tourism: Attica

Rhamnous © David Gill

By 2019, the six staffed archaeological sites in Attica (outside Athens) had attracted over 445,000 visitors. This was a significant growth from the 179,000 in 2004. The coastal deme centre of Rhamnous only attracted 7,000 visitors in 2019, up from 2,000 in 2004.

Brauron © David Gill

The sanctuary of Artemis at Brauron attracted 32,000 visitors in 2019 up from 4,000 in 2004.

Sounion © David Gill

The most popular site was the coastal temple of Poseidon at Sounion attracting 326,000 visitors in 2019.

Eleusis © David Gill

The Telesterion at Eleusis attracted 45,000 in 2019 up from 8,000 in 2004.

Data: Hellenic Statistical Service. Chart © David Gill

The other sites are the Amphiareion and the soros at Marathon. The Amphiareion is on the tentative list for World Heritage status as part of the ancient theatre grouping. It attracted over 23,000 visitors in 2019.

Eleusis: The Telesterion

At the heart of the sanctuary of Demeter and Kore was the Telesterion, the hall of the mysteries. This enclosed hall, supported by interior columns, appears to have been designed by Koroibos probably in the 430s BC.

A 2.20 m high relief showing Triptolemos receiving corn from Demeter was almost certainly placed within the Telesterion. This is now displayed in the National Museum, Athens.

Eleusis in Cambridge

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Caryatid from Eleusis, Fitzwilliam Museum © David Gill

One of the caryatids from the Roman ‘lesser propylaia’ in the sanctuary of Demeter at Eleusis was obtained by E.D. Clarke and now resides in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. It is currently part of an art installation by Hugo Dalton.

Another caryatid from the ‘lesser propylaia’ is now displayed in the Eleusis Museum. Both appeared in the documentary, ‘The Sacred Way‘, by Michael Wood (1991).

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Caryatid from Eleusis, Eleusis Museum © David Gill

The lesser Propylaia was a benefaction of Appius Claudius Pulcher.

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Lesser Propylaia, Eleusis © David Gill
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Dedicatory inscription, Lesser Propylaia, Eleusis © David Gill
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