Evzoni National Guard

Athens Travel Blog

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Evzones National Guard

The Evzones, or Evzoni, (Greek: Εύζωνες, Ευζώνοι) is the name of several historical elite light infantry and mountain units of the Greek Army. Today, it refers to the members of the Proedriki Froura (Presidential Guard), an elite ceremonial unit that guards the Greek Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Άγνωστος Στρατιώτης), the Hellenic Parliament and the Presidential Mansion. The Evzones are also known, colloquially, as Tsoliades (Greek: Τσολιάδες).

The unit is famous around the world for its unique traditional uniform, which has evolved from the outfits worn by the klephts who fought the Ottoman (Turkish) 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 name Evzone is first found in Homer, and derives from "ευ"+"ζώνες", meaning the "well-girt" men, implying an elite status.

For young men, at least 6 feet tall, it's great honor to become one of the Evzones - the primarily ceremonial Greek National Guard. They often wear the national costume seen above,which reflects makeshift uniforms of the Greek rebels who won independence from the Turkish Otoman Empire (1834). The skirt they wear is supposed to have over 300 folds - one for each year that Turkey occupies Greece.

It's really amazing how this mans stands such heat in this uniform. That day in Athens were 38 degrees ( i felt like it's 50 at least ) , but they standed so calm, without any movement (even with eye ) ... don't forget that some parts of this uniform are  made of wool! So, they are really special.

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Evzones National Guard
Evzones National Guard
photo by: Johnpro