The Venue

The Facilities

The 3rd HMO International HerMa Conference will be hosted in Paleo Eleourgio, the infrastructures of the old oil plant in Elefsina. The industrial complex constitutes an evidence of the significant commercial acne of the 19th century at both local and national level.

The soap factory Charilaou founded in 1875 by brothers Lysander and Emmanuel Charilaou, who arrived from Galaţi of Romania in Elefsina, led by the operation of some household soap craft. As source of energy they used steam power and for raw materials they used olive kernels enriched with a few other substances. The product was transported easily by ships as far as the port of Patras, Syros and Piraeus. The production reached the amount of 600,000 tonnes; of which 175,000 were exported in various Mediterranean countries. As a result of such a relatively massive, for those times, production, the Σάπων Ελευσίνος (Soap Eleusis) rivalled French products.

In 1892, Epaminondas Charilaos, a chemist who studied in France and Germany, cooperated with Nikolaos Kanellopoulos, also a chemist, and bought the soap factory which has since then been renamed as E. Charilaos – N. Kanellopoulos. The plant, which in the beginning of its operation employed 20 workers, in 1900 grew to employ 90 (10 of which were women) and in 1928 employed more than 250 workers. However, all the operations stopped in the ’60s.

The inactive area of Paleo Eleourgio hosts now cultural events and in the facilities in general here is a plan to create permanent cultural spaces, parks and a parking station.

Aeschylia Festival

Theodosia Maroutsi (2015)

The City

Elefsina is the Athenian suburb that stands out for its special cultural identity. Inhabited for more than 4000 years, Elefsina was one of the most important religious centres that established the rituals of Eleusinian Mysteries around the 6th century BC. In the recent years Elefsina maintained its importance and flourished as an exemplar and pioneer industrial centre that gathered workers from the wider Greek area, as well as the refugees from the Minor Asia. This cultural amalgam forms nowadays a unique landscape of oppositions and unifications.

Theodosia Maroutsi (2015)