Change of Guard in Syntagma Square Athens, Greece

WARNING: This post has 21 pictures.The change of guard takes place at the Monument of the Unknown Soldier, in front of Parliament, Syntagma Square, Athens every hour no matter what the weather is. It is said that the change of guards on a Sunday at 11 AM is worth watching, it is more elaborate one. We had to be content watching the simple one as we were there on a week day.

The monument is guarded by Presidential guards known as Evzones. As we stood there waiting for the clock to strike 10 and for the drama to begin 3 well dressed guards marched into the square. Any first timer would be struck with awe at the graceful, yet firm rigid movements of the soldiers. They wear their traditional 19th century costume from southern Greece; the skirt with several neat pleats attracts attention. The shoes aren’t boots as one expects them to be, but deep red colored slipons (each is said to 3kgs.). The guys are huge. One has to be more than 6 feet tall to get selected for this prestigious role.

Photo Essay on Change of Guard in Syntagma Square Athens

The guards stand in front of their guard house motionless. As the new guards who are to replace them march in, the old guards start a kind of slow motion march dragging their foot backward, then raising that leg out straight before taking each step. They do a small drill lifting their guns, every action done very slowly. The new guards march towards them and they exchange their places.

Change of Guard in Syntagma Square
Change of Guard in Syntagma Square Athens Greece
The new guards march off to replace the old ones.
The old and the new guard do some drills together.
The old guards marching off.(could those shoes be 3kgs, really?)
The old guards join the main guard who escorted the new guards.
Three of them now march off, the soldiers in normal uniform saluting them as they cross.

A cross over takes place, the new guard at the right goes to the left, the one in the left to right.

Their movements are so symmetric and interesting to capture in lens.
The tassels, pleats all ruffled after the march.
A soldier in normal uniform adjusts the pleats and sets the tassels flat on the skirt, foustanela.
The Palmyra, Toddy Palm
Agora and Other Archeological Sites, Athens

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