Few people know it; probably, only the few onlookers of the web, or those who have been lucky enough to switch to Syntagma Square at the exact moment of the ceremonial. But yet…. also in Athens there is the change of the Guard, a traditional rite known especially in the metropolis of the caliber of London, becoming almost a must for tourists who, for example, crowd Buckingham Palace.
The ceremonial, in Athens, is the task of the evzones (Evzones). These are the chosen mountain infantry soldiers of the Greek army; they wear traditional uniform with fustanella (a kind of kilt), fez, and above all, the curious slippers with curved tip and black pompom!
At the precise stroke of each hour, these soldiers march up to the Parliament in Plateia Syntagmatos; walk around the square, in sync, with precise steps, almost mechanical, to replace the one who, immobile for the next hour, will have to watch over the tomb of the MUnknown ilite. The change of the Athens Guard is a rather picturesque ritual; to many, it happens to tear more than a smile, for the funny walk of the soldiers, despite the great seriousness of the latter.
If you were to find a Plateia Syntagmatos, you can not absolutely miss this incredible ritual; as mentioned, it takes place every day, at the precise stroke of every hour. It will certainly not have the same media coverage as the London ceremonial, but we advise you not to lose it.
To all those who are interested, or simply curious, we want to recommend this curious Athenian rite. A truly unique ceremony that has been repeated for many years now.
The change of the guard take place in Syntagma Place, in the city center. The place is easily accessible on foot and by public transport. You can use the Metro M2 and M3, getting of to the stop Syntagma. From here, moreover, there are numerous bus lines.
The changing of the guard takes place every day, every hour. The ceremony takes about 10 minutes. On Sunday, at 11:00, the most important and solemn ceremony with the presence of a hundred soldiers. If you are lucky enough to be in the capital on Sunday, drop by. You will not regret it.
The best place to watch the show is between the Syntagma square steps and the square of the unknown soldier. From here you will have an open and frontal view on everything! It is preferable to arrive at least 30 minutes early as the place is quite busy.