Eleusina (Ancient: Eleusis) is a town and municipality in West Attica, Greece. It is situated about 18 km northwest from the centre of Athens. It is located in the Thriasian Plain, at the northernmost end of the Saronic Gulf. It is best known for having been the site of the Eleusinian Mysteries, one of the most famous religious events of the ancient Greek religion, and the birthplace of Aeschylus, one of the three great tragedians of antiquity.
West Attica, Eleusina (1) Coordinates: 38°2′N 23°32′E
From as early as 1700 BC up to the 4th century AD, Eleusina was the site of the Eleusinian Mysteries, or the Mysteries of Demeter and Kore. These Mysteries revolved around a belief that there was a hope for life after death for those who were initiated. Such a belief was cultivated from the introduction ceremony in which the hopeful initiates were shown a number of things including the seed of life in a stalk of grain. The central myth of the Mysteries was Demeter’s quest for her lost daughter (Kore the Maiden, or Persephone) who had been abducted by Hades. It was here that Demeter, disguised as an old lady who was abducted by pirates in Crete, came to an old well where the four daughters of the local king Keleos and his queen Metaneira (Kallidike, Kleisidike, Demo and Kallithoe) found her and took her to their palace to nurse the son of Keleos and Metaneira, Demophoon. Demeter raised Demophoon, anointing him with nectar and ambrosia, until Metaneira found out and insulted her. Demeter arose insulted, and casting off her disguise, and, in all her glory, instructed Meteneira to build a temple to her. Keleos, informed the next morning by Metaneira, ordered the citizens to build a rich shrine to Demeter, where she sat in her temple until the lot of the world prayed to Zeus to make the world provide food again.
Today, the city has become a suburb of Athens, to which it is linked by the freeway, the Athens metropolitan freeway (Attiki Odos), and Athens metro (transit). A toll post named after the community is on the westbound lanes of GR-8A. North of Eleusis are Mandra and Magoula, while Aspropyrgos is to the northeast. The town lies at the northern apex of the Gulf of Eleusina.
Eleusina is nowadays a major industrial area, and the place where the majority of crude oil in Greece is imported and refined. The largest refinery is located on the west side of town.