New to Nashville: The Parthenon

New to Nashville: The Parthenon

Lovers of Greek history don't have to go too far to find a taste of Athens here in the Athens of the South.

The Parthenon located in Nashville's Centennial Park is a full scale replica of the original Greek Parthenon. Built in 1897 for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition, it took the city 10 years to build the structure out of brick, stone, reinforced concrete and cast concrete aggregate. Ironically, the Parthenon in Athens which was carved out of marble is believed to have taken the Greeks 10 years to build.

Standing 65 feet high at it's apex, Nashville's Parthenon has 46 columns, 17 on each side and six on each end.

Inside, you'll find art exhibits since the Parthenon also serves as the city's art museum. But the real draw is the East room, called the Naos room.

There you'll find plaster replicas of the original parthenon marbles and a 42-foot statue of the Greek God Athena just as it was in ancient greece. Built by Nashville native Alan LeQuire, construction of the sculpture started in 1982 and wasn't finished until 1990. At first it was a plain white statue but in 2002 it was gilded in gold and details on her face were painted on.

Also in the room you will see two massive doors which each weigh 7.5 tons and are believed to be the largest matching set of bronze doors in existence.

If you are new to Nashville, the Parthenon is nearly a rite of passage. The Parthenon is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9am til 4 and Sundays from 12:30-430pm.

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