Certified Indigenous – The Changing of the Evzone Guard
Only a few travelers are tapped into the most authentic and rare local experience of all, the Changing of the Evzone Guard. The Evzones, symbol of the Hellenic Republic since 1867, are chosen via a rigorous selection process and require a well-groomed appearance, physical strength and exemplary character references.
Testimony to the character of an Evzone is that he will never leave his post unless instructed by a senior officer; even when placed in a life-threatening situation, he will remain completely still until the order is given. These elite, highly trained soldiers hold the honorable position of being both the Greek Parliament’s and the Presidential Palace’s personal guard, and they escort the president on foreign visits.
The traditional dress of the Evzones, weighing over 20 kilos, is internationally unique, with a foustanella skirt consisting of exactly 400 pleats. The distinctive shoes, tsarouchia, weigh three pounds each.
It is a truly memorable experience to attend the Changing of the Guard and admire their characteristic, perfectly synchronized gait. Each Sunday at 11:00 a.m., you can view the ceremony with its accompanying military band. A truly indigenous Athenian ritual, where onlookers gather at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, it is an unforgettable experience that is not to be missed.