Archive for the ‘evzones’ Category

Yesterday I was taking a walk down the center of Athens.The weather was great and the city was packed with people walking and enjoying the Athenian Sun. Myself I ended up at Syntagma Square and visited the Greek Parliament and the  Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.   
The Tomb is guarded by the Presidential Guard the Evzones.
“The word evzōnos (Greek: εὔζωνος) is first attested in Homer’s Iliad and derives from “εὖ”+”ζώνη”, meaning the “well-girt” men, implying an elite status. As a word it has been used by ancient writers for centuries to describe a type of light infantry of unidentified equipment, probably used as a generic term to denote light infantry.” 

 “Though the Presidential Guard is a predominantly ceremonial unit, all Evzones are volunteers drawn from the Hellenic Army’s Infantry, Artillery and Armored Corps. Prospective Evzones are usually identified at the Army Recruit Training Centers during Basic Training; there is a minimum height requirement of 1.86 m (6′ 1.2”) to join.
The unit is famous around the world for its unique traditional uniform, which has evolved from the clothes worn by the klephts[1] who fought the Ottoman occupation of Greece. The most visible item of this uniform is the fustanella, a kilt-like garment. Their proven valour and peculiar dress turned them into a popular image for the Greek soldier, especially among foreigners.”

The Monument and the Guards are really impressive and its definitely worth visiting it when you are in Athens.

Enjoy the Photos.