History and Collection

The Industrial Gas Museum is housed in the old gas plant in Athens. It is the best-preserved gas plant in Europe and the only one maintaining all its mechanical equipment in situ. It is a typical example of 19th and 20th-century industrial architecture.

  • 1857
    In 1857, François Théophile Feraldi, a French businessman, undertook the project of lighting Athens with gas. As a result, Athens used gas in street lighting for about 60 years.

    Syntagma Square illuminated by lanterns and gas arches, late 19th century. IGM Collection: OPANDA, City of Athens Central Library

  • In 1887, the small gas plant of Athens flourished under the administration of Giovanni Battista Serpieri, who added new buildings and mechanical equipment, thus expanding gas use in homes and factories.

    The Athens and other cities Gas Light Company advertisement, Panhellenic Guide 1912. The Company was founded in 1887 by Giovani Battista Serpieri and Henri Foulon de Vaulx. The new administration introduced the domestic and commercial use of gas. IGM Collection: Anemi Digital Library

  • 1938
    In 1938, the company was purchased by the City of Athens.

    Floor plan of the gas plant before 1950. The second water gas production unit has yet to be constructed. The Stein ovens, which did not survive to the present day, are located at the bottom left-hand side. IGM Collection

  • In 1952, the Athens Natural Gas Municipal Company (DEFA) was founded. After the war, the use of gas declined due to electricity and other new energy forms.

    Executives of DEFA in front of the Control Room (approx. 1970s). IGM Collection: A. Romousis Archive

  • 1984
    In 1984, the retorts stopped their operation.

    The gas plant walled area at the junction of Pireos and Persephone streets during the1980s. IGM Collection: G. Machairas Archive

  • In 1986, the Ministry of Culture declared the site a listed historical monument, devising at the same time solutions for the venue.

    View of the New Retorts building during the 1980s restoration works.IGM Collection: City of Athens

  • 1999
    In 1999, the plant hosted the first artistic events on its premises, thus establishing the Technopolis City of Athens as one of the capital’s most famous cultural sites.

    General view of the Technopolis City of Athens with its illuminated chimneys. Technopolis City of Athens Archives.

  • In 2013, the Industrial Gas Museum was officially inaugurated.

    The Control Room's interior, Industrial Gas Museum. Technopolis City of Athens Archives.

The Industrial Gas Museum is a journey on the premises of the old factory and its saved mechanical equipment. It hosts a collection of equipment related to gas production, tools, machinery and appliances (meters, hobs, water heaters, luminaires, etc.), items from the factory per se, and rich photographic material.

Please find part of the digitized collection here.

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