Syntagma Square and the Evzones
Photo: Samuel Roberts
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Watch the Greek changing of the guard
Noteworthy for: Every Sunday morning at 11am you can watch the ceremonial march of the Presidential Guard to the monument of the Unknown Soldier followed by a military band.
Talk of the town: The Parliament building was originally built as a palace for King Otto Wittlesbach. Oddly, it had 365 bedrooms and one bathroom.
This is the stage of the nation’s dramas. It is where the world watched as protesters attempted to storm the Greek National Parliament, where riots broke out, and in happier times, where celebrations were marked.
While the 19th Century Parliament building is not actually open to the public, it is worth coming here for the spectacular changing of the guard. The Evzones are elite soldiers, who guard the monument of the Unknown Soldier. Their unique uniforms include a white pleated foustanella or kilt and tsarouchia shoes, which have red pom poms on the toe to disguise the sharp edge.
Handpicked from the young men doing national service for their character, moral outlook, stamina, good health and height (they must be over 6ft1), they do an unusual leg-flicking routine on the hour every hour. You can take pictures, but if you get in their way, they are allowed to march-kick you.