From the mid-1920, Eleusis began to change rapidly. The arrival of refugees from Asia Minor, the return of the enlisted men after the end of a decade of war, and the development of industry transformed the semi-rural town into a dynamic urban center full of life.
There was not a moment to lose. Every delay could prove fatal to the freedom of the Athenians who were bracing for the inevitable attack by the army of the Great King on the plain of Marathon.
“The roots of the nation lie in the fields […], for the present generation of Greeks […] it is necessary […] to thicken the nation’s rural roots […] and to intensify to the utmost limit the exploitation of agricultural resources”. Thus spoke the Minister of Agriculture of the Metaxas government in January 1937.
In the early 20th century, Eleusis was at the forefront of industrial development. The abundant (and inexpensive) land, the opening of the Corinth Canal, the Piraeus-Athens-Peloponnese railway line and the port of Eleusis had transformed the city into an ideal location for the founding of new industries.
The whole world seemed to be going up in flames. As the summer of 1922 drew to a close, a wave of massacres engulfed the Greek communities of Asia Minor, as the Turkish army advanced towards the coast.
In the fall of 1801, the English clergyman and avid traveller Edward Daniel Clarke arrived in Eleusis. His stated goal was to visit the “mystic temple” used in antiquity for the festival of Ceres.
In the late 1870s Eleusis (or Lepsina as it was then called) was a small seaside community standing among the ruins of the old illustrious sanctuary of Demeter. The majority of the houses were old and dilapidated; most of them were little more than peasant cottages.
The Kronos factory was built in 1923-1926 to produce alcohol products, wine, molasses, and tanning extracts. The parent company had been founded in Piraeus in 1911, but a rise in the demand for alcohol and wine in the 1920s persuaded them to expand their operations in Eleusis.
Ptolemy II Philadelphus was very fond of luxury. During his reign, the court of the Ptolemaic court reached an unparalleled level of splendor. He organized grand processions through the streets of Alexandria with elephants, ostriches, lions, and a rhinoceros in honor of god Dionysus.