Changing of the guard in Athens

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Greece Ports
Athens, Corfu, Crete, Katakolon, Limassol, Mykonos, Rhodes, Santorini, Volos
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#1
Hollywood, FL
6,233 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Is the changing of the guard in Athens on Sunday a must-see?
Thanks.
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#2
20,302 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
I think it depends on how interested you are. A "must-see" for someone may be a yawn for someone else.

I was in Athens for several days and was staying at the Grande Bretagne, which is about half a block from where the changing of the guard takes place. I went up early to watch it and enjoyed it, but be aware it is very crowded and, unless you have a good vantage point, it's difficult to see. People will insist on holding their cameras over their heads to take pictures, blocking the view for anyone behind them....

I started talking to the Greek woman beside me, it turned out that her son was one of the efzones (soldiers) in the ceremony and she had been to every Sunday changing of the guard for the past 8 weeks to watch him. She was so proud. That was probably more interesting than the ceremony itself.

However, if you like that sort of thing, it is definitely colorful.



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#3
Hollywood, FL
6,233 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
What a quick reply. And great pictures. I've enjoyed reading several of your other posts in these forums. You are a wealth of information.
Thanks again,
Larry
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#4
USA
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Joined Feb 2008
Fun if you catch it, if you don't not much missed IMHO.
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#6
20,302 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by geepmaley
So its is only Sunday or do they do it every day and Sunday is just somehow more special?
The latter; they do it every day, but there is a lot more involved on Sundays.
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#7
2,338 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
I thoroughly enjoyed the Changing of the Guard. Our guide went over the
history and meaning of the unique uniforms which was quite interesting. And, if I recall correctly there are 400 pleats on the skirts which depict the years of occupation by the Ottomans?
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#8
74 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by FinelyRetired
I thoroughly enjoyed the Changing of the Guard. Our guide went over the
history and meaning of the unique uniforms which was quite interesting. And, if I recall correctly there are 400 pleats on the skirts which depict the years of occupation by the Ottomans?
Yes thats correct - the 400 pleats are to commemorate the 400 year occupation of Greece by the Ottoman Empire (Turkish.)

Great photos cruisemom

The changing of the guard occurs at the top of the hour 24-7-365 -- but the best is at 11 am on Sunday mornings where the entire garrison attends complete with brass band.

It really is quite a spectacle get there early and at the front for the best view.
#9
Hollywood, FL
6,233 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Thank you all for your help. I guess we'll try to make it. And, again, Cruisemom, thanks for the photos. Very nice.
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#10
Redmond WA
8,499 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
We caught the ceremony mid week at 5pm and thoroughly enjoyed it ! There were only 20-25 of us there to watch. This was last May so perhaps a slow time ??
We had just returned from the acropolis and headed towards the metro station to go back to the ship. But we had time to spare so we thought, what the heck, let's see if we can get to Syntagma Square in time for the 5pm ceremony. It was a unique cultural experience so I was very glad we made the effort.
#11
74 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by mapleleaves
We caught the ceremony mid week at 5pm and thoroughly enjoyed it ! There were only 20-25 of us there to watch. This was last May so perhaps a slow time ??
We had just returned from the acropolis and headed towards the metro station to go back to the ship. But we had time to spare so we thought, what the heck, let's see if we can get to Syntagma Square in time for the 5pm ceremony. It was a unique cultural experience so I was very glad we made the effort.
FYI:
From 2pm onwards its quieter because the cruise-ship tours have mostly already been there.
#12
Southern Ontario
100 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
Originally posted by Vrilissia
Yes thats correct - the 400 pleats are to commemorate the 400 year occupation of Greece by the Ottoman Empire (Turkish.)

Great photos cruisemom

The changing of the guard occurs at the top of the hour 24-7-365 -- but the best is at 11 am on Sunday mornings where the entire garrison attends complete with brass band.

It really is quite a spectacle get there early and at the front for the best view.
Does anyone know how long the 11am Sunday ceremony is?
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#13
20,302 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by kate1970
Does anyone know how long the 11am Sunday ceremony is?
The ceremony lasts about a half hour, but you should plan to get there well in advance to get a good vantage point -- it gets very crowded, and you won't be able to see much or get a good photo otherwise.
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#15
FL
3,214 Posts
Joined May 2013
Sunday is full dress and extra special while on the hour each day is also great to watch and much less crowded. Here is a link you may enjoy:
athensinfoguide.com/wtsevzones.htm#1