25-28 April 2014
Technopolis City of Athens has become a hub of cultural events within one of the city’s most important industrial monuments, thus upgrading a historic area of the capital and creating another focal point in the cultural identity of Athens.
Every year, a wide variety of cultural events are held in Technopolis: music, dance, theater and performing arts, plastic and applied arts, educational programs for children, temporary exhibitions, as well as initiatives for the development of entrepreneurship and the promotion of innovation, attracting over 600,000 visitors annually.
The gradual transformation of the Technopolis site into a hub of diverse events and activities combined with the newly designed Museum Path offers visitors the chance to stroll in an area full of images, knowledge and feelings. The charm of another era transpired by the imposing gasholders, the chimneys and the old retorts adds a special quality to every event or activity that takes place in it.
Sunday January 27, 2013, was the grand opening of the Industrial Gas Museum in Technopolis. The objective of the Museum is to highlight-illuminate unknown till now aspects of the modern and contemporary history of Athens, as well as to supplement the capital’s large network of archaeological museums. The Athens Gasworks was founded in 1857 with the purpose of providing gas lighting to the streets of Athens and covering the energy needs of its residents.
The Gasworks became a municipal enterprise in 1938 and it remained as such till 1984 when it was shut down. Today it is the only surviving gasworks plant in Greece and one of the few in Europe. It constitutes a distinctive sample of 19th century technology and industrial architecture. The Museum visitors have the opportunity to see the surviving original machinery and the rich visual material and hence ‘travel’ through the history of Athens and its industrial heritage while experiencing this technological wonder of another era. Furthermore, the visitors learn about the entrepreneurial spirit in 19th century Athens and the ‘community’ of the people who worked in an industrial plant that operated uninterruptedly for almost 130 years.
Moreover, they have the chance make the connection between old and new forms of energy and to understand the difference between the old use of the plant and its current use as a museum and cultural hub.
This way Technopolis acquires a dual function; as a hub of cultural and artistic events and as the first Industrial Gas Museum, whose history is so interconnected with a major chapter of the history of Athens.