One of the best things about Athens is the chance to see the changing of the Guards at Syntagma Square. It is a popular spot for tourists who come to watch the changing procession and visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Fortunately for us, the weather was beautiful and our timing was impeccable that we were able to witness the changing of the guards ceremony. It draws quite a large crowd and I was quite impressed.
The changing of the guards ceremony is conducted in front of the Parliament building in the public square everyday. It takes place 24 hours a day, every hour, on the hour, you can't miss it. The big parade is on Sundays at 11am, where more guards participate accompanied by a military band. We did not manage to see the big ceremonial changing on Sunday, but it was still amazing to watch.
The guards who wear traditional Greek uniforms, seem to take this tradition very seriously. They are trained to keep a straight face, very disciplined and wouldn't respond to all visitors trying to get a funny reaction out of them.
The commander in charge even stood by to keep a watchful eye on the guards and make sure they were focused on executing their routines well .
As their commander kept watch, we observed the guards performed the routine of stomping, swinging their limbs, military stunts and marching in unison, with the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the background. It was fun to watch and is definitely something everyone should see while in Athens.
The Evzones are carefully selected for the honour of participating, and they must stand over six feet tall and have the ability to stand motionless for a few hours. They have pom poms on top of their shoes and wear a short pleated skirt with long white stockings.
Do you like the pom pom on my shoes? I like their fancy footwork. :)
After the Guards finished their routine, we were allowed to take pictures with them but they are strict on some criteria like
DON'T STAND TOO CLOSE TO THEM
NO TOUCHING THE GUARD
NO QUESTIONS ASKED
NO MAKING FUNNY FACES OR POSES
If an Evzone feels insulted, he will slam his rifle down hard in order to get your immediate attention or either their commander will give a shout out to any annoying onlookers, so you better not mess with them. Obviously, I didn't get into trouble and managed to take a few decent pictures with the guard but I get a scary feeling and my heart beats real fast.
That's My World
Impressive, well photographed especially the last one ...ReplyDelete
Happy monday, be safe !
Wow...that serious? Hmm...they must have loved their job very dearly. :pReplyDelete
wow, this is such a cool routine to catch.ReplyDelete
they sounds scary, but so impressive!
That sound very interesting. It is nice to see people keeping to old traditions and strict laws. It sounds like you had a really great experience.ReplyDelete
I visited Athens, but did not witness this ritual. Great photos - I love their garb!ReplyDelete
Old traditions like this should never die out it gives a sense of belonging. Fantastic shots to.ReplyDelete
Yeeee cute pom pom on the shoes, if we wear them else where sure to make heads turn. tQReplyDelete
Oh gosh! I've been planning to go Greece for the last 2 years. I envy you! I plan is one week to Greece - Athens & Santorini. You think it's doabale or should I allocate 10 days?ReplyDelete
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Very interesting post and beautiful pictures.Greetings Andrzej.ReplyDelete
Very interesting and good series of shots.ReplyDelete
The photos are awesome and nice! I think all the guards globally are serious like robots! They are so patient! It has always been my lifetime dream to visit Athens!ReplyDelete
Lovely photos! We passed by there walking from here to there quite frequently on our trip but never did actually catch the ceremony. I did hear about their rules and gun stomping (scary). Whenever faced by foreign military or police though I get this intimidated feeling.ReplyDelete
Hi, beautiful pictures and very interesting..ReplyDelete
very interesting. i never made it to syntagma square :(ReplyDelete
Wonderful photos. I like their shoes too.ReplyDelete
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Ewwww...way cool LR!! wow...what a place to be and have a camera!!ReplyDelete
It's a dream world!
i love the uniforms---from the skirt to white leggings and pompoms.;P great shots!ReplyDelete
I saw them in Athens too - I remember wondering how they didn't fall over with all those high kicks LOL.ReplyDelete
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Oh, yes! I saw them in Athens, too! I loved watching the changing of the guard and they are good! What fun memories! Thanks for sharing your wonderful, colorful photos! Enjoy your week and have a very Merry Christmas!ReplyDelete
That was cool to see here in the US at the tomb of the unknown soldier the uniforms greatly differ but the precision is the sameReplyDelete
I’ve always been impressed by the discipline guards of any royal palace or government building exert. I think it must take a mind of steel not respond to people trying to get a reaction. Usually they are dressed in unusual uniforms that might take some bravery to wear. I’m glad they can give a “shout out” to any rude onlookers once their routine is finished.ReplyDelete
Hi LR! Wow they do look fierce right? So u guys took pics with them?ReplyDelete
I think I'd probably be too scared to take pics with them cause it's so natural for me to want to smile or say something friendly when taking pics and then I'd be too friendly pulak ha ha!ReplyDelete
I wouldn't want to upset or insult an Evzone he he.. scared! :)ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing sweetie, very interesting.....ReplyDelete
What a joy to see and read your very good work. Hope that you carry only happy memories of the city.ReplyDelete
For a daily impression of it:
Please have a good Tuesday.
Thank you for sharing this amazing ceremony. How intriguing it is, and what wonderful images you have captured.ReplyDelete
Great shots. I'm always really interested to see these. My dad was a guard there, before he migrated to Australia.ReplyDelete
Sydney - City and Suburbs
Wonderful shots of the occasion.ReplyDelete
Your photos make me feel like I am in Greece again. Amazing!ReplyDelete
Beautiful My World Tuesday postingReplyDelete
Merry Christmas and have a nice week,
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Seen on My World Tuesday
So, very VERY interesting. I would LOVE to have been there with you, watching.ReplyDelete
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Great photos! I like their uniforms and shoes.ReplyDelete
I have seen our Changing of the Guard here on Parliament Hill Ottawa but never any other nations, I would love to see it some day. Thanx ever so much for sharingReplyDelete
I've seen the Changing of the Guard in London, and I would love to see this as well. Your pictures are excellent. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas.ReplyDelete
Oh wow! I love all your shots! It must be quite fascinating to watch.ReplyDelete
Happy christmas to you!!
lol @ NO MAKING FUNNY FACES OR POSES ..hahhaa...this is interesting! :DReplyDelete
oh it's snowing here too..yay!!ReplyDelete
The last picture made me chuckle! I've seen the changing of the guards in several places: England, US, and the borders between the two Koreas. It's always so mesmerizing!ReplyDelete
must be a tough job!ReplyDelete