Skip to content
CityLab
Government

The Surprisingly Stressful Life of a Greek Presidential Guard

The soldiers wear 7-pound shoes and stand motionless for more than 100 hours a month.
relates to The Surprisingly Stressful Life of a Greek Presidential Guard

Since 1868, Greece's presidential guards ("Evzones" in Greek) have carried out a couple of key duties. Each day, they raise and lower the flag atop of the rock of the Acropolis and guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

These tasks sound simple. But being an Evzone is no easy feat. The ceremonial military unit guards wear handmade uniforms that include a white kilt (with 400 pleats to represent 400 years under Ottoman occupation) and red leather clogs (which weigh over seven pounds). Putting on the uniform requires two soldiers to help each other.