Greek English
Greek English


Monuments along the Sacred Way

Along the whole length of the Sacred Way were numerous and impressive burial monuments of wealthy citizens, more modest cemeteries and small sanctuaries and temples operating as travellers’ stops. Stops were crucial for the Eleusinian procession, both for ritual purposes, but also for the walkers’ rest. By following Pausanias it is possible to locate ancient monuments
and understand the topography of the ancient route and the area of Chaidari. A similar attempt was made
in 1860 by the French scholar François Lenormant, who
conducted excavations along the ancient road.
A traveller from Athens to Eleusina would first see several burial monuments and then come across the
large olive grove of Kephisos that spread up to Chaidari and had been preserved until the mid-19th century. After more burial monuments followed the Lakiades deme,
today the Agricultural School of the University of Athens.
A subsequent sanctuary, mainly devoted to Demeter and assumingly under the Athenian Paper-making factory today, must have been connected to the Eleusinian cult
as a procession stop on the way back to Athens. Then the traveller crossed Kephisos river, which ran
about 1200 m east of the modern riverbed, via a stone bridge. There, procession initiates and outside visitors teased each other. The same happened at the junction
of the Eleusinian branch of the river with the Sacred Way, just before the final destination of the procession. An
altar to Zeus connected to Theseus and several burial monuments mentioned by Pausanias have not been traced, but the modern Agios Savvas church preserves ancient spolia.
A small temple called «of Kyamitos» is at the
crossroads with modern Proussis Street in Aigaleo, at the site of Agios Georgios church. The area includes many excavated cemeteries, spanning from the 8th century
BC to the Late Roman period. Especially noted are two burial enclosures opposite the Dromokaiteio Psychiatry, one Roman and one dating to the 4th century BC. A
super-natural sized hand from a marble statue probably belongs to a monumental base located close by. Thus, the Dromokaiteion area hosted important Classical and Hellenistic monuments.

Along the whole length of the Sacred Way were numerous and impressive burial monuments of wealthy citizens, more modest cemeteries and small sanctuaries and temples operating as travellers’ stops. Stops were crucial for the Eleusinian procession, both for ritual purposes, but also for the walkers’ rest. By following Pausanias it is possible to locate ancient monuments
and understand the topography of the ancient route and the area of Chaidari. A similar attempt was made
in 1860 by the French scholar François Lenormant, who
conducted excavations along the ancient road.
A traveller from Athens to Eleusina would first see several burial monuments and then come across the
large olive grove of Kephisos that spread up to Chaidari and had been preserved until the mid-19th century. After more burial monuments followed the Lakiades deme,
today the Agricultural School of the University of Athens.
A subsequent sanctuary, mainly devoted to Demeter and assumingly under the Athenian Paper-making factory today, must have been connected to the Eleusinian cult
as a procession stop on the way back to Athens. Then the traveller crossed Kephisos river, which ran
about 1200 m east of the modern riverbed, via a stone bridge. There, procession initiates and outside visitors teased each other. The same happened at the junction
of the Eleusinian branch of the river with the Sacred Way, just before the final destination of the procession. An
altar to Zeus connected to Theseus and several burial monuments mentioned by Pausanias have not been traced, but the modern Agios Savvas church preserves ancient spolia.
A small temple called «of Kyamitos» is at the
crossroads with modern Proussis Street in Aigaleo, at the site of Agios Georgios church. The area includes many excavated cemeteries, spanning from the 8th century
BC to the Late Roman period. Especially noted are two burial enclosures opposite the Dromokaiteio Psychiatry, one Roman and one dating to the 4th century BC. A
super-natural sized hand from a marble statue probably belongs to a monumental base located close by. Thus, the Dromokaiteion area hosted important Classical and Hellenistic monuments.