Evzones

The Evzones are an elite part of the Greek Army consisting of light infantry and mountain units. They were an important part of the liberation war from the Ottoman Empire as sharpshooter units. Today the Evzones are the Presidential Guard and handle ceremonial duties, including standing guard at the Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier at the Presidential Palace on Syntagma Square.

The Evzones come marching to the Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier

At the change of the guard in front of the Parliament Building the replacements come marching in from front right. Be aware that this is not London, and you are expected to keep distance to the Evzones - don't stand next to them to have your picture taken, it is considered disrespectful. If an Evzone feels that somebody have come too close he will bang his rifle hard into the ground, both warning you and calling the Evzone in regular uniform also on guard nearby to come investigating what is wrong.

The exchange of the guard in progress

The replacements march to their stations and replace the current guards.

The movements are very slow and elaborate

The march is a very slow paced and elaborate style, with leg twirls and slow arm movements.

An Evzone marching

This kind of march with slow elaborate movements both with arms and legs is very hard to perform. If you have tried marching in the regular fashion yourself you will appreciate the effort put into this marching style.

After arriving at his post, the Evzone is meticulously groomed by the regularly dressed guard

When the guard has arrived at his post, the guard in regular uniform goes to him and begins a meticulous grooming process, making sure the fustanella sits perfectly, that the tassles hang down separately and without any intertwining and so on. It is a good demonstration of the importance and reverence shown the Evzones for their job, guarding the Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier.

The Evzone at his post in the shade of the guard house

The uniform was originally designed based on the fustanella, a kind of kilt used by freedom fighters, for the Evzones in 1837, for the light infantry batallions. It was so popular that it became the regular uniform for all Evzones in 1867.

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