POST-BYZANTINE CHURCH OF AGHIOS ZAHARIAS
At the center of Eleysina, on the northern corner of Heroes -“Iroon” square, there is a small post – byzantine church devoted to saint Zaharias.
"Three times blessed are those who having seen these rites go to Hades. For these are the only ones able to live there. The others have all bad things." wrote Sophocles one of classical Athens’ three great tragic playwrights, referring to the pilgrims of Eleusinian Mysteries.
On the east side of the Sanctuary, near the Sacred House and Mithraio, the foundations of a rectangular building that has been identified as the Agora or the Gymnasium, are still visible. Its construction, with a court rounded with colonnades and a propylon – gate, led its dating directly to the Roman Era.
On the northeast corner of the Greater Propylaia or on the south of the Roman Court, the Kallichoron well consists one of the most holy structures of the whole shrine. According to the Homeric myth, here rested Demeter, when she first came to Eleusina searching for her daughter, Persephone.
The ancient road connecting Athens with Eleusina was named Hiera Odos – Sacred way, because the sacred procession of the Eleusinian Mysteries which followed its nineteen kilometers route. It was the one and only road which besides Eleusina and the whole Thriasian plain connected Attica with Peloponnesus. Alongside Hiera Odos, there was a multitude of Sanctuaries, various monuments and graves from which very few have survived until today.
Standing in the middle of the city, still grand and imposing, pantazis quarry is definitely an important piece of city’s history. The old quarry, among many standing witnesses as the derelict plants of the city, is the most representative sample of the non-stopping cruelty labor.
A longside the south enclosure wall, on the outer boundary of the archaeological site, a modern house catches our attention. The sight of a modern house near the Sanctuary causes several questions especially when you realize that it’s not the museum of the site. What is the function of the house? Why is still standing near the archaeological site?