Why to see the change of the Greek National Guard and the monument
If you’re planning a trip to Athens, you can’t miss the changing of the guards ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This daily event is a unique and exciting way to experience modern Greek history and culture.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is located in front of the Parliament Building in central Athens. It was built to honor the unknown soldiers who fought and died for Greece. Every day, a changing of the guards ceremony is held in front of the tomb. The ceremony is performed by the Evzones, a special unit of the Greek Presidential Guard.
The unit has a long and storied history. It was first established in 1868 as the Agema, an independent unit consisting of a staff and two infantry and one cavalry company. The unit’s commander was a Colonel or General officer, and the unit was given the right to stand to the right of all other units.
During the reign of King George I, the unit’s composition remained unchanged. However, under King Constantine I, the unit was reorganized as the Palace Guard, with just two platoons of Evzones and Cretans. The unit was abolished in 1916 due to the National Schism.
Following the abolition of the monarchy in 1924 and the establishment of the Second Hellenic Republic, the unit was replaced by the Guard Company of the President of the Republic. This unit was abolished in 1935 when the monarchy was restored, and the Evzones were once again established as the Presidential Guard.
The uniqueness Evzonas’ uniform
The Evzones are easily recognizable by their distinctive uniforms. They wear a white fustanella, a traditional Greek skirt that’s sure to make you do a double-take. They also wear a white shirt and a red fez, along with long socks and clogs, called tsarouchia, that they stamp on the ground as they march. The changing of the guards ceremony is a slow, precise ritual that’s like a cross between a military parade and a dance party. It’s a blast to watch, and you’ll be tapping your feet along to the beat.
What it takes to be an Evzonas
But the changing of the guards ceremony is more than just a fun spectacle. It’s a symbol of national pride and unity. The Evzones are considered to be the elite of the Greek military, and they are highly trained and disciplined. In order to become an Evzone, a soldier must undergo rigorous physical and mental training. They must also maintain a strict code of conduct and adhere to a strict daily routine.
For example, the Evzones must wake up at dawn every day and perform a series of exercises and rituals. They must also maintain a strict diet and grooming regimen. All of this is designed to prepare them for the demanding and prestigious role of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
But the Evzones are not just responsible for the changing of the guards ceremony. They also perform other important duties. For example, they are often called upon to participate in official state functions and ceremonies. They also play a ceremonial role in welcoming foreign dignitaries and heads of state to Greece.
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So if you’re planning a trip to Athens and you want to experience something truly unique and exciting, make sure to include the changing of the guards ceremony in your itinerary. It’s an unforgettable experience that will give you a glimpse into the history, culture, and pride of Greece.
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