Greece // Athens and around //

The Greek Parliament and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The Voulí, the Greek National Parliament, presides over Platía Syndágmatos from its uphill (east) side. A vast, ochre-and-white Neoclassical structure, it was built as the royal palace for Greece’s first monarch, the Bavarian King Otto, who moved in 1842. In front of it, goose-stepping evzónes in tasselled caps, kilt and woolly leggings – a prettified version of traditional mountain costume – change their guard at regular intervals before the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. On Sundays, just before 11am, a full band and the entire corps parade from the tomb to their barracks at the back of the National Gardens to the rhythm of innumerable camera shutters.