The largest cultural event in Europe begins in the historic city of Eleusis with 130 artworks, 465 events, 30 venues and 17 types of art

The institution of the European capital of Culture returns in 2023 to its birthplace. Driven by culture and art, the city of Eleusis and the whole of Greece is at the center of the world map and emerges as a source of social development, innovation and collectivity. The 2023 Eleusis European Capital of Culture presents a rich and innovative artistic, research and educational program entitled MYSTERIES OF TRANSITION, developed on three central thematic axes: Man | Society, Environment, Work, creating a sustainable heritage beyond the limits of the title year.

The beginning is marked with a spectacular Opening Ceremony, The Mystery_0 transition Mysteries, which will take place on Saturday, February 4, 2023 at 19:00 on the coastal front of the city, on the idea/conception of the general artistic director of the event Michael Marmarinos and directed by the distinguished British director Chris Baldwin.

The MYSTERIES OF TRANSITION, 130 in their entirety, draw inspiration from Eleusis, its history, as well as from the contemporary challenges that govern it. Throughout 2023, a total of 465 Productions will be presented in 30 different venues in the city, hosting more than 300 distinguished artists from Europe, America and Asia. Among others, the program of 2023 Eleusis includes: Romeo Castellucci, Sasha Waltz, Jochen Sandig, Heiner Goebbels, Katerina Gregou & National Museum of Contemporary Art, Theodoros Kourentzis, TimeCircus, Euripides Laskaridis, Eleni Karaindrou, Haruka Hirayama, Giannis Houvardas, Juan Sandoval, Patricia Apergi, Nikos Navridis, Vana Xenou, Roxane Revon, Lina Bertucci, Menelaos karamangiolis, Maria Papadimitriou, Eva Stefani, Nikita Milivojević, Thodoris Economou, Eleftheria Deko, Thierry de Mey & discussions de Strasbourg, Sulla Tzoumerkas, Lena Kitsopoulou, Marina Satti, Philip Koutsaftis, Evi Kalogiropoulou, Navine G. Dossos, Athens State Orchestra, Marina Fokidis, Dresden Symphony Orchestra, Yolanda Markopoulou, Christodoulos Panagiotou, Novoflot, Humanhood, Argyro Chioti, Dome Wood & Sam Steverlynck, Angela Brouskou, Steven Berkoff, Intercultural Orchestra Of Alternative Stage Of The National Opera, Stereo Nova.

2023 Eleusis hosts world premiere works, showcases local community artists, designs educational and regeneration programs, and transforms into a cultural hub with daily actions and activities throughout the title year. For the implementation of the program of the event, collaborations were developed with national institutions –such as the National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST), the Benaki Museum, the Athens Epidaurus Festival and the Thessaloniki Film Festival– as well as with 137 international partners, with the implementation of an international networking strategy that contributed decisively to the creation of a multifaceted, exciting program.

The main objective of the 2023 Eleusis program is a strong Material and Intangible Heritage, that is, the construction of a new cultural identity of Eleusis by introducing new institutions, infrastructure and actions, as well as strengthening and expanding the already existing ones, so as to ensure the cultural continuity and uniqueness of Eleusis as a historical landmark of ancient and modern Greek history.

Within the framework of the Cultural Capital, a total of 30 indoor and outdoor spaces, outdoor and public, are activated. Important buildings and industrial monuments of the city are being renovated or reopened as cultural sites, marking the material legacy of the institution. Among them the emblematic Old Town Hall, the former Refreshment Room on the coastal front, the former Iris paint factory, the Old Railway Station, the warehouses of the Old Olive Mill. The Olive Mill, the parking lot, as well as the space behind the theater of the Old Olive Mill, the E.CIT.D.P. – Labor and Labor Center of Elefsina West Attica and the Cultural Center L. Kanellopoulos, schools and stadiums are being used systematically, while the ELEVSIS Innovation Lab by 2023 Eleusis has already been inaugurated inside the Titan Factory. At the same time, landmarks of the city are activated, such as the archaeological site and the clock, as well as outdoor areas such as the Oasis – former Camping.

The public spaces of the city also occupy an important role in the program of 2023 Eleusis, with the coastal front being transformed into an outdoor scene, the city squares hosting visual and artistic events, the inactive train lines coming to life through a multitude of imaginative actions, while the courtyard of Elaiourgiki hosts even symposia until morning.


  • MYSTERY_0 Transition Mysteries

Opening Ceremony

Saturday, February 4, 2023, at 19:00 / coastal front of Elefsina

The Mystery_0 transition Mysteries, The Opening Ceremony, the most important event of the Cultural Capital, the moment of the most spectacular diffusion of the institution’s identity around the world, will take place on Saturday, February 4, 2023 declaring the official start of the overall program of 2023 Eleusis⋅ the first part of a twin gesture that will end with the Closing Ceremony on November 21, 2023.

The central event – mystery, conceived by the general artistic director of the event Michael Marmarinos and directed by the distinguished British director, Chris Baldwin, will be held on the coastal front of the city marking the Arrival of the Remarkable, while four human processions from Greece and Europe will arrive in Eleusis by land and sea.

Among them the largest pilgrimage procession of Eleusis’s 3,500-year history. The artistic collective TimeCircus crosses Europe on foot–with the contribution of volunteers and passers-by-on a land ship, broadcasting a vivid commentary on the 21st century of recession, climate change and the immeasurable consumption of Natural Resources. On December 16, TimeCircus arrive in Katerini and will need our contribution to the journey of diversity and mutual acceptance.

In this open to all celebration participates one of the most influential and innovative groups of modern electronic sound in Greece. Stereo Nova (Konstantinos beta and Michalis Delta) reunite especially for the 2023 Eleusis European capital of Culture, breathe life into their mythical band and return for a single live performance in the heart of West Attica. Where they drew inspiration from, with their poetic lyrics exploring– from a romantic and futuristic perspective at the same time-youthful dead ends, the violence of everyday life, the loneliness of diversity and poetry.

The celebrations of the Opening Ceremony will continue the next day, February 5, with a free tour of the city of Eleusis, the museums, the market, its events.

  • Title Handover Ceremony

January 9, 2023 / Acropolis Museum / only with invitations

In collaboration with Esch 2022, Novi Sad 2022, Kaunas 2022, Timișoara 2023, Veszprém 2023

For the first time in the history of the institution, on January 9, 2023, an official handover of the title of Cultural Capital is to take place from the cities that flow to the upcoming ones. A special moment for the organization, but also for our country itself, as the city chosen to host the event is Athens. The initiative, which will take place at the Acropolis Museum, aims to create an annual European tradition in the country of birth of the institution, with the participation of Representatives from the field of politics and civil society. The title of Cultural Capital is borne for 2022 by the cities of Es-Syr-Alzette (Luxembourg), Kaunas (Lithuania) and Novi Sad (Serbia), while in 2023, in addition to Eleusis, the institution will be hosted in Timisoara (Romania) and Vesprem (Hungary).

  • Mystery 29 Elefsina-Raw Museum / curated by Erato Koutsoudaki

October 2022-February 2023 / Benaki Museum & Old Town Hall Of Elefsina


An exhibition-hymn in Eleusinian city and history, from antiquity to today

The emblematic project of the event for the modern and unknown history of the city, after its successful two-month presentation at the Benaki Museum (Pireos 138) with more than 5,000 visitors, is hosted at the Old Town Hall of Elefsina. An exhibition that attempts to interpret the city as an exhibit, inviting the public on a journey into its uniqueness and Mysteries-at the core of its existence; from antiquity and modern times, to tradition and internal migration, refugees, industrial development, the long-suffering working reality, the relationship of the city with the arts and Aeschylus, the people and communities that compose it.

  • Mystery 99 The Ark by TimeCircus

May 2022-December 2023 | Machu Picchu


The longest pilgrimage procession of 3,000 km. from Antwerp to Eleusis on foot. A project-Action for the environment

The TimeCircus, the art collective from Antwerp (Belgium), crosses Europe on a land ship, the Landship, which moves only by human power. Their long journey aspires to be a living commentary on the 21st century of recession, climate change and the immeasurable consumption of Natural Resources. The group will participate in the opening ceremony having walked 3,000 kilometers in nine months, in the largest pilgrimage procession in this city’s 3,500-year history. After their arrival, they will build ARK, an active cultural center of recyclable materials, with the ultimate goal of free movement of ideas, interaction with different social groups, experimentation with new methods and practices, acquaintance with innovative approaches and models of sustainable development.

  • Mystery 111 the clay army of Eleusis by Juan Sandoval

May-July 2023 / Iris


A modern monument to the Eleusis workforce

The exhibition by the internationally renowned Colombian artist Juan Sandoval is about creating a dedicated portrait of the city’s workforce, to be exhibited in the emblematic space of the former Iris factory. The project involves active or retired workers of different factories• for each of them a handmade ceramic helmet will be created. At the end of the exhibition, the helmets will be distributed to the workers who participated, as a personal memory of this titanic work and as parts of this monument dispersed within the community.

  • Mystery 3 Elefsina Mon Amour / edited by Katerina Gregou

June-September 2023 / City spots (Pictorially)

An international group exhibition in collaboration with the National Museum of Contemporary Art

A work, curated by Katerina Gregos and with the participation of many distinguished artists, that combines memory and experience, space and time, past and present. An exploration into specific chapters of Eleusis ‘ history and present, its traumas and hopes, and how these are often linked together. Do we have to forget the past in order to move on to the future? or do we have to confront the past in order to be able to face the future;

  • Settlements-a festival

June 2023 / City spots


Art is on the road!

An international multimedia festival on the explosive socio-political landscape of modern Europe, focusing on the issues of identity, nationalism and democracy. Art in the public space, various actions, discussions in collaboration with residents from various neighborhoods of Eleusis, with the participation of Greek and European artists and cultural institutions. An attempt to integrate art into contemporary society, starting with three different entry points: the Balkans, the rest of Europe and the Arab world.

  • Mystery 11 Ma-Romeo Castellucci

September 2023 / archaeological site of Elefsina


The new performance of the distinguished Italian director at a world premiere

Romeo Castellucci “occupies” the archaeological site of Eleusis presenting an experiential peripatetic performance –specially designed for this emblematic site. A modern ritual starring a matricide, who is surrounded by a multitude of songs performed live, aiming to redefine the bond with his mother. For 11 performances – one of them exclusively for Eleusinians.

  • Mystery 14 Human Requiem – Sasha Waltz & Jochen Sandig

September-October 2023 / archaeological site of Elefsina

(Performing Arts)

Dance, music and icon meet in the ancient sanctuary

The Eleusinian Mysteries are the conceptual starting point for the human Requiem (human Requiem) of the renowned choreographer Sasha Waltz and the distinguished director Jochen Sandig. A unique work that includes dance, music and documentaries, and is designed specifically for the archaeological site of the city, the ancient sanctuary, based on the work of Johannes Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem (German Requiem).

  • Ecoculture Festival

September 2023 / Oasis-Former Camping


A model festival for the environment, ecology and sustainable development

One of the key legacy actions of the 2023 Eleusis program, a model environmental awareness institution and a multidimensional cultural infrastructure is to be hosted in the Oasis-former Camping. On the occasion of the special characteristics of Eleusis and the wider region, the festival includes theatrical events, art works, speeches, lectures with distinguished scientists, as well as architecture workshops that aim to harmonize art and technology with sustainable development.

  • Mystery 400 great musical event

May 2023


A great concert by an international artist

Music is a universal language – music unites! At the end of spring, with nature in full bloom and public space being the ultimate expression of the city’s theater, a major concert by an internationally renowned artist activates the outdoor space of the former Iris factory, offering us an evening that will not be easy to forget.

  • Mystery 23 Cine-Eleusis: in SITU realities

November 2023 / Cine-Elefsis

(Film / documentary)

The first West Attica Documentary Festival is a fact

The festival sine-Elefsis: in SITU realities presents new and older films, selections by an internationally recognized committee, focusing on environmental, political and labor issues, while it will be framed by parallel actions. Part of the screening program will also take place in unexpected places in the city, while from autumn 2023 the heart of the festival will beat in the historic and soon restored space of Cine – Elefsis. In collaboration with the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival.

  • Mystery 56 meeting culture 2030 / curated by Kelly Diapouli

November 2023

(Meetings / Conferences)

An international meeting dedicated to cultural professionals

The culture 2030 meeting is one of the new institutions of the 2023 Eleusis European capital of culture as well as one of the key legacy programs. The main aim of the meeting, curated by Kelly Diapouli, is to create a field of reflection, ideas and proposals for the sustainable cultural development of the region and cities, with a horizon of 2030, through a series of artistic projects, discussions and workshops.

  • The Eleusinians-Philippos Koutsaftis

November 2023 / Cine-Eleusis / Official Closing Ceremony


After the emblematic Agelastos Petra, a new documentary captures modern Eleusis and its inhabitants

The documentary The Eleusinians is the continuation of the landmark film about Eleusis Agelastos Petra, with which Philip Koutsaftis captured in the most real and organic way the soul of the city, the centuries it carries on its backs, its varied temperament and its modern reality. Inspired by this old material, with which he was occupied for 12 consecutive years, Philippos Koutsaftis returns to meet the present day of the city, through the production of a film that captures the chisel from the intervening years. The Eleusinians will officially premiere at the sine – Eleusis in SITU realities Documentary Festival, which will mark one of the actions of the Official Closing Ceremony for the 2023 Eleusis European Capital of Culture.

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