Nashville March 15, 2017
There’s No Attraction In The World Quite Like This One In Nashville
…well, there kind of is – the REAL Parthenon in Athens, Greece. If you’re spinning around on West End, over by Vanderbilt University, you may just see the hulking Parthenon at its post in Centennial Park. Why is it there, who came up with that idea? Why Nashville? We have all the answers and a little bit more to test your knowledge on this Nashville highlight.
The Parthenon was originally built in 1897 as a full-scale replica of the original in Athens, a part of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition. A temporary structure was built before a more permanent tribute was completed in the 1920s. The most recent renovation of the Parthenon took place in the ten year span of 1991 to 2001, and cost a reported $12 million dollars.
There's a 42-foot statue of Athena Parthenos inside, and it's the largest indoor statue in the western hemisphere. It was completed by local sculptor Alan LeQuire in 1990, and her spear was actually fashioned from a McDonald's flag pole. There are also plaster replicas of the Parthenon Marbles, as well.
You can visit the outside of the Parthenon for free - it's in a public park after all - but you'll be paying $6 for the tour inside. It's worth it, though. You can peek in on Athena and learn about the history of the structure as it relates to the rest of the park. There were reportedly 200,000 visitors in 2013 alone.
The field out front is extremely popular for locals toting a frisbee! There are art festivals held on the grounds consistently, and the ever-extraordinary Shakespeare festival takes place just a stones throw away. Centennial Park has truly proven to be the hub of Nashville, and pretty park that pays tribute to its home.
There's a popular running loop that skirts the edge of the park, picnic tables and a community center. Come for the Parthenon, stay for the beauty - it's located at 2500 West End Avenue.
Interesting, hey? Once you’re done, you’ll have to visit the
Crazy One-Of-A-Kind Store You’ll Only Find In Nashville. It’s a doozy!