Tourists flock to watch the changing of the Presidential Guard in Athens

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More than 1000 tourists gathered yesterday to see the famous Greece Presidential Guards at Syntagma Square in Athens. The ceremony includes the changing the guard of the Evzones, gathered at the monument to the Unknown Soldier.

Foreign tourists, as well as a few Greeks who did not leave the capital on three holidays on August 13, 14 and 15, watched the changing of the presidential guard at Syntagma as the evzones stand completely motionless and expressionless for an hour at a time.

Crowds of people lined up in front of the parliament building to witness the ritual of the changing of the guard as the streets of Athens were empty as the locals took a extended three day break on the islands or in the countryside and celebrate the “summer Easter”.

The Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos is celebrated. It is a national and religious holiday that marks the “falling asleep” repose or kimisis of Panagia, mother of Lord Jesus Christ.

About the Evzones

After World War II, the regiments were disbanded as part of the modernisation of the armed forces, save one unit that continues to exist in the capital. Its role is purely ceremonial.

The evzones guard the Presidential Palace and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier around the clock. They raise the Greek flag at the Acropolis right after sunrise every Sunday, and lower it at sundown.