On this day: In 1868, the Greek Presidential Guard was established

·

By Victoria Loutas

The Presidential Guard is a ceremonial infantry unit that guards the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Presidential mansion in Athens, Greece. The Presidential Guard, also known as the Evzones, was established on this day in 1868 and has proudly withheld the test of time.

In 1868, a combatant and ceremonial elite unit of the Hellenic Army was established, which aimed to provide high level military training to soldiers that have demonstrated bravery and military virtue. These selected soldiers were intended to act as a role model to the remainder of the Hellenic Army. 

The first Presidential Guard was established by Royal Decree as an independent battalion-sized unit, called the Agema. This unit consisted of staff, two evzone infantry companies and one cavalry company. 

Photo: Charter World

Under the reign of King George I (from 1863 to 1913), the structure and composition of the presidential guard remained unaltered. However, his successor, King Constantine, who ruled from (1913-1917, 1920-1922), made several changes to the guard. Under his Royal Decree, it was changed to a ‘Palace Guard’ and consisted of just two platoons, one of Evzones, and one of Cretans. Later in 1916, due to National Schism, this structure was abolished. 

Afterwards, the guard returned to its original format and remained a consistent institution while Greece underwent hardship and havoc, particularly during the 1941 Battle of Greece.

Today, the Presidential Guard is purely a ceremonial unit, representing the rich political and national history which Greece possesses. The unit has the responsibility of providing permanent ceremonial guard detachments of two Evzones, each for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the entrance to the Presidential Mansion. 

The guards on duty do a ceremonial performance every hour, on the hour, which consist of small movements in a slow and civilised manner. While guarding, the soldiers have to remain completely still.

The Greek Presidential Guard is highly regarded and represents the social and cultural pillars of Greece.

Advertisement

Share:

KEEP UP TO DATE WITH TGH

By subscribing you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Advertisement

Latest News

Australian Business Summit Council launch fifth issue of ‘Ekonomos’

The Australian Business Summit Council Inc. hosted 250 business leaders, diplomats and politicians at its lavish Annual Gala Dinner.

Dora and George Hatzikiriakos’ fish and chip shop among the best on NSW South Coast

The Eurobodalla on the NSW south coast is home to some of the best fish and chip joints. "Harzikiriakos' Ocean Grill is one of them.

Two Greek beaches among Tripadvisor’s top European beaches for 2024

Greece saw two beaches included in Tripadvisor’s Best Beaches in Europe for 2024, as part of its annual Travellers’ Choice Awards.

Festival Hellenika to host ‘Magna Graecia’ film screening in SA

Festival Hellenika will host the ‘Magna Graecia: The Greko of Calabria’ talk and short film screening on Friday, May 31 at 7pm.

‘From Imbros over the Sea’ exhibition to be displayed at Melbourne’s Greek Centre

The northern Aegean Island of Imbros and its population played a significant but little appreciated role in the Gallipoli campaign.

You May Also Like

Paragon in Peril: Petition to save Greek-Australian café presented to Heritage Minister

Community take action to save the Paragon Cafe in Katoomba, a 102-year-old state heritage listed building.

David Kessler: That discomfort you’re feeling is grief

One feeling that creeps into our sense of comfort, however, is grief. The Harvard Business Review (HBR) held an interview with grief expert David Kessler.

Match fixing scandal brings potential relegation for Olympiacos and Atromitos in Greek Super League

Greek Super League clubs Olympiakos and Atromitos are being threatened with relegation by the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) for match fixing