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.
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Arlington, Virginia, USA
The most famous guard mounting ceremony in the US takes place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. The ceremony is performed by a single member of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment. There is a meticulous routine which the Tomb Guard follows during a march when watching over the Tomb.
In Stockholm, the changing of the guard ceremony takes place at the Stockholm Palace, the official residence of the King and Queen of Sweden. There are two versions of the guard mounting; one is performed in summer and the other one in winter.
Prague, Czech Republic
Performed at the Prague Castle, the seat of the president of the Czech Republic and one of the most popular tourist attractions of the country, the guard mounting in Prague is usually watched by hundreds of onlookers. In Prague, the guards also provide security service for the Czech president.
Windsor, United Kingdom
Those who find the guard mounting at the Buckingham Palace in London too crowded can visit a similar but less-touristy ceremony held at the Windsor Castle. In summer, when the Queen is in the residence, it usually takes place on the lawn in the Castle’s quadrangle. In wet weather or winter, it occurs outside the Guardroom by the Henry VIII’s Gateway.
In Spain, the guard mounting ceremony occurs at the Royal Palace of Madrid every Wednesday from noon to 2pm (except July, August, and September), weather permitting, as long as it does not coincide with another official event. The unit mounting the guard is provided by the Spanish Royal Guard who come to the place on horse.