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Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

1,253 Reviews

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

1,253 Reviews
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Leoforos Vasilissis Amalias Syntagma Square, Athens 100 28 Greece
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SyntagmaAthens Metro5 min
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Athens Scenic Bike Tour

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See the best of Athens with a guide, who takes care of navigation and logistics, on this guided tour. Go past city highlights such as the Keramikos Cemetery, Roman Forum, and Ancient Agora, among other ancient monuments. Pedal along bike-friendly paths and streets and cover more ground than if walking, learning the city's rich history as you go.
$36.00 $44 per adult
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Sherlock arting wrote a review Oct 8
Rome, Georgia127 contributions
+1
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Greek: Μνημείο του Αγνώστου Στρατιώτη, romanized: Mnimío tou Agnóstou Stratióti) is a war memorial located in Syntagma Square in Athens, in front of the Old Royal Palace. It is a cenotaph dedicated to the Greek soldiers killed during war. It was sculpted between 1930 and 1932 by sculptor Fokion Rok. The decision to build a monument was taken by army general and “constitutional dictator” Theodoros Pangalos. In his capacity as Army Minister, an advertisement was placed in the Espera newspaper, requesting a "submission for a study of the construction of a tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in front of the Old Royal Palace, suitable for this purpose". On 9 October 1926, the Army Ministry approved and granted by majority the study made by architect Emmanuel Lazaridis. The location of the monument at the Old Palace was suggested both by the architect himself and by Pangalos, who wish for the Army Ministry to be housed in the building. However in 1929, after fervent reaction and continuous meetings, Eleftherios Venizelos, setting aside his disagreements with Pangalos, decided that the best location would be the original one in Syntagma Square, reasoning that the Monument ought to be in the city centre, much like the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The construction committee had given all responsibility for the construction to Lazaridis. Initially, he had worked with sculptor Thomas Thomopoulos who had proposed as a central sculpture a representation of the Gigantomachy with an angel (representing Greece) lovingly receiving the dead soldier. Despite Lazaridis initially agreeing to this design, Thomopoulos's sculpture was never built due to lack of funds. In 1930, Lazaridis instead assigned Fokion Rok as sculptor with a unanimous decision of the construction committee. The committee then approved a new proposal for the sculpture, a gunner lying on the ground. This design was deemed appropriate owing to its calmness and simplicity. For the construction, a large-scale excavation and levelling of terrain took place. The Tomb was unveiled on 25 March 1932 by then Prime Minister Andreas Michalakopoulos, with the participation of many foreign delegations, followed by a parade of the monument guard. At the same time, a torch was brought from the monastery of Agia Lavra to light the eternal flame in the centre of the cenotaph.
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Date of experience: August 2020
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TravelinSuz wrote a review Apr 2020
Chandler, Arizona870 contributions270 helpful votes
We saw the changing of the guard. The outfits were interesting with the pom poms on top of the shoes and tights. Otherwise not worth it. All due respect.
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Date of experience: May 2019
2 Helpful votes
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permia wrote a review Mar 2020
Ireland36,348 contributions1,559 helpful votes
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Evocatively placed at the foot of the former Royal Palace it is guarded by the Evzones, an elite unit but nowadays ceremonial in nature. Greece has had an extraordinarily long documented history of battles and wars and the fine memorial refers to many in the modern era, from Balkan wars to post WWII engagements. The central figure of the fallen soldier is shown as an unclothed male warrior lying on the ground with round shield and archaic helmet. Even though fallen he has also the semblance of arising once more. A place of tranquil reflection on war and its always horrific consequences.
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Date of experience: March 2020
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PaulrSunderland wrote a review Feb 2020
Sunderland, United Kingdom207 contributions39 helpful votes
A must do when in Athens.. Sunday morning 11am is when you get the full show.. Superb.. Don't forget your camera
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Date of experience: January 2020
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ValEqHK wrote a review Jan 2020
York, United Kingdom179 contributions95 helpful votes
Watching the changing of the guard in front of the tomb of the unknown soldier is quite moving and fascinating. The uniforms and very stylized movements are very unusual.
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Date of experience: January 2020
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