Performed in front of parliaments, royal palaces, seats of presidents, and other important institutions and buildings all over the world, guard mounting ceremonies (also known as changing of the guard) are some of the most popular and attractive spectacles tourists can enjoy for free. First introduced as early as in the 17th century, these ceremonies are often very elaborate and precisely choreographed, which is why huge crowds of people gather to watch them. Some ceremonies, such as the one held in front of the Buckingham Palace in London, United Kingdom or the one performed in front of the Prague Castle in Prague, Czech Republic, are familiar to most tourists, but in fact, there are many more impressive guard mounting ceremonies in other cities and countries that are definitely worth watching too. If you are a fan of this spectacular display of military drill, you should keep on reading because today’s post will show some of the greatest guard mounting ceremonies from around the world. From Copenhagen and Santiago de Cuba to Moscow and New Delhi, here are 25 Guard Mounting Ceremonies To Make Any Vacation Complete.
Changing of the guard featured image by: Yuri Turkov / Shutterstock.com
London, United Kingdom
Held in front of Buckingham Palace, the London residence and administrative headquarters of the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom, this guard mounting ceremony is arguably the most famous one. The ceremony also features a military band consisting of 35 musicians accompanied by their Director of Music.
The changing of the guard in Copenhagen takes place at the Amalienborg Palace, the official seat of the Danish royal family. The ceremony can be observed daily every two hours, regardless of weather. There is also a special change at noon.
Changing the guard at the Vatican might not be as famous as some other ceremonies on the list, but it is also a remarkable affair as the local guards (known as the Swiss Guards) are known for their strikingly colorful uniforms. The ceremony takes place in front of St. Peter’s Basilica.
Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
Soldiers of the Cuban Revolutionary Army guard the Mausoleum of José Marti in Santiago de Cuba. The guard is changed every half-hour and is signaled by clock tower bells similar to how Soviet guards at the Lenin Mausoleum used the bells of the Spasskaya Tower Clock.
One of the world’s most stylized and entertaining guard mounting ceremonies is held in Athens, Greece, where members of the elite Evzones light infantry unit provide a 24-hour honor guard at the Presidential Mansion and at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the foot of the Hellenic Parliament.