Despite Snow, Sleet and Cold, Changing of the Guard in Athens Must Go On



Nothing stands in the way of the Evzones doing their diligent duty as these members of the Greek Presidential Guard have been serving their country since December 12, 1868. Even when it is cold, rainy and snowing these guards are responsible for guarding important sites such as the House of Parliament and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The Evzones find themselves in photos of tourists and locals alike as they dress in their traditional uniforms, wearing a white fustanella which is a skirt made up of 400 pleats representing each year that the Greeks were under Ottoman occupation, complemented by their red leather clogs, or tsarouhia, which weigh an astonishing seven pounds.

It is amazing that these guards are trained so well that they don’t even flinch when you walk by, riots take place around them or when tourists pose with them for a photo! They are like robotic statues who are so precise in everything from their uniforms to their routine when undergoing the famous changing of the guard. This is because they are trained to be able to march with their legs expanding to shoulder height and to stand motionless for over 100 hours a month.

They are allowed a coat when it gets cold, but regardless of the weather, they must stand their posts and perform their duties, come snow, sleet or the cold!