The history of the Technopolis gasworks factory in Athens dates back to 1857 when French businessman Francois Theophile Feraldi took on the project of producing gas lighting for the city. Aside from use in street lighting, rapid growth in the late 19th century spread the use of coal gas as a form of energy in both factories and residences across Athens. The factory, built over a 7.5 acre lot, is comprised of various machinery relating to the production of coal gas, including gas meters, cookers, purification units, steam boilers, and water heaters.
Gasworks lost momentum in the post WWII era when electricity and other forms of energy emerged as alternatives, and the factory ceased operation in 1984, after lighting the Athens metropolitan area for nearly 130 years. Two years later, the factory was declared a historic monument and was thus preserved. In 1999 it hosted its first art exhibitions, and since then, the Technopolis area of Athens has been considered one of the city’s most popular culture centers.
No longer in operation, the gasworks factory and its machines now make up the Industrial Gas Museum, which opened its doors in 2013. Aside from the original equipment used in the factory, also featured in the museum is a rich collection of archive materials, photographs, short films, and recorded interviews. Addiotionally, many of the museum’s attractions have been digitized and are available for viewing in an online collection at technopolis-athens.com. Entrance to the Industrial Gas Museum, located at 100 Pireos Street, in Athens, is 1 euro.
The Technopolis area, which includes the museum, a gift shop, and café Gaz à l’eau, currently serves as a hip venue for art exhibits, seminars, cultural activities, business fairs, and music concerts. The area is accessible by Metro through the Keramikos station, just two stops away from Syntagma Station.
The general Gazi area is a strip full of boutique cafes, bars, restaurants, and clubs which offer a variety of settings, food, and music catering to diverse tastes. Because of its popularity, Gazi has become a hub for the younger and more artistic generation, whose members frequent the local stores at all times of the day. A daytime visit to Gazi is just as enjoyable as a night out, depending in what you’re looking to do.
The Gazi area is also well known for its artistic expression evident not only in the style of people who visit, but also in the intricate and detailed wall art, or graffiti covering various buildings.