The Aigaleo Grove, or else “Mparoutadiko” reveals its secrets
The Mparoutadiko (formerly Gunpowder Factory), is an area of the municipality of Aigaleo which, for many years in the past, operated a factory that produced gunpowder, dynamite, ammunition and weapons for the Greek Army. The first years occupied an area of 160-170 acres. During the next decades of operation, it was expanded and surrounded by fences with barbed wire and outposts…
Mparoutadiko, as a factory, existed for 90 years in Aigaleo (1874-1964) in the area that is called today as “Alsos Aigaleo” or “Mparoutadiko”. The underground entrances to its dangerous construction sites were leading to the dark tunnels, where explosions occurred, and the workers were buried alive! During the first unfortunate explosions, every exploding galley was permanently sealed.
The cemetery for the killed workers
Later, a cemetery was created that served the needs of the killed workers of the gunpowder factory, where today is the square and the church of Agia Triada. The chapel of the cemetery, Saint Fanourios, which is preserved until today, is located in the courtyard of the church and is the oldest building. The bones of the workers that collected after the abolition of the cemetery are been keeping within the Holy Bank. In the years of World War II, the Mparoutadiko acquired new deep underground tunnels, which were used as anti-aircraft shelters, but also for the secret movement of ammunition under the Iera Odos Avenue.
Today is a Park
Today, only one of the chimneys and some underground spaces are saved, with few accessible parts of its tunnels, in which other passages are seen, built and blocked. Lately, the entrance to these basements was completely sealed so that no more access is possible.
See also a recently filmed and quite interesting documentary about the Aigaleo Grove here.