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Evzoni, changing of the guards in Athens
Home Traditions & customs Evzoni, changing of the guards in Athens

The changing of the guards Evzones happend at three locations in Athens: infront of the Hellenic Parliament buildings, Presidential palace and in front of the monument to the Unknown Soldier. The changing of guards is a ceremony and ritual, that every hour performed infront of hundreds delighted tourists.

Evzones (Εύζωνες) are Greek soldiers, belonging to the Special Presidential Guard, stand completely motionless like a statue. They are allowed only eye movements. You can stand next to them to take pictures and it is forbidden to touch them.

The changing of the guards

Evzones are guys who are elected from the Greek Army and the selection criteria are too high, so they must be handsome and tall, and above all with handsome legs because they are dressed in traditional short skirts fustanella (Φουστανέλα), with as many as 400 pleats to symbolize the 400 years of slavery under the Turks …

Otherwise, the whole costume is inspired by the robes that wore Gorstac people, who were fought against the Turks in the war for independence. Particularly interesting detail on this uniform – costume is „tsarouhi“ red hobnail shoes with pompoms.

Evzoni, changing of the guards in Athens


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