Friday, November 2, 2012

The Parthenon is in Nashville??????

Nashville, TN       High:  58    Low:  37

Did you know there is a full size replica of the Greek Parthenon in downtown Nashville? Yessiree, there is! You don't have to go to Athens, Greece to see the Parthenon, you can go to Centennial Park off West End downtown Nashville and see the REAL thing! Or close to it, anyway!
Four dollars a senior (62+), gets you into this amazing place. Your ticket buys you unlimited time to wander through a modern art gallery, read all about Greek mythology, the symbols that represent the history of Greece, and the history of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition, which was an amazing event back in 1897.  It drew over a million visitors in six months time!

Nashville built a whole mini city around the exposition event and celebrated the technological progress of the times during the Exposition. They even incorporated the exposition separate from Nashville which was dry at the time so they could serve alcohol! They called it "Centennial City". They had cool amusement rides...They had unusual dining facilities. One place, called the Cafe of Night and Morning, had live action scenes from Dante's Inferno. Diners sat at tables made from real coffins and overhead there were chandeliers made from skulls and crossbones. Sounds pretty macabre...

There were several buildings in addition to the Parthenon. They were built to last for about six months the exposition was open, and the replica of the Parthenon was one of the biggest hits. So big, that when the exposition ended, they reconstructed the building in 1920 of more permanent concrete material and it stands today..Check this out....Cool sculptures lining both sides of the massive interior hall...
A forty-one foot high statue of Athena that weighs twelve tons commands your attention when you enter the hall from the second floor. Athena is holding a 6'4" statue of Nike, the goddess of victory. THAT'S probably where Nike, the shoe company, derived its name from? Nike is holding a wreath and preparing to crown Athena.  Athena was added in 1990 and for twelve years, was a plain white statue. She was the ambitious project of Allen LeQuire, a local artist who won the commission to create Athena. The gilding of Athena was added in 2002 along with face painting details and color on the back of her shield.
Athena's shield has many symbols on it and there is an exhibit nearby that explains the symbols....It is really something to behold in its entirety.....The whole thing, building and all!

You can read all about the sculptors who recreated the friezes on each end of the building...

There is definitely a LOT to see here and learn about.....Sparky is sorry she doesn't have more information to share about Greek mythology....She vaguely remembers studying this stuff in high school, but it was all Greek to her!  Heh, heh, heh....

Don't miss the Parthenon when you are in Nashville...We highly recommend it!


  1. Another cool place to see! You guys find the best places to explore :)

  2. It sure is a nice site to see. it was being renovated a bit on the putside when we were there, but definately a worthwhile visit.

  3. this is why I read blogs written by other RV'ers. . .to find out about cool stuff like this. I'm copying this page to my Evernote file, so will remember to check it out it I ever make it back through Nashville. . .thanks!


  4. Well, that's certainly a heckofa sight cheaper than flying off to Greece. That one is in better shape too.
    We have an Athena holding Nike here in Vienna as well, out in front of the parliament building. And yes, that's where Nike (the company) got that whole idea.