Posted by on May 11, 2015 in Places | 0 comments

At the center of Nashville’s Centennial Park stands a full-scale replica of one of the most important structures of the ancient Greek civilization. The Parthenon was a temple built in 447 B.C. in Athens, Greece to honor the goddess Athena. Since Nashville had been considered the “Athens of the South”, a recreation of the Parthenon was built in the area as part of the city’s centennial celebration in 1897. While the structure was never meant to be a permanent attraction, it pulled in a lot of visitors and tourists. As a result, the local government decided to reconstruct the replica and make it permanent starting the 1920s.

The main attraction of Nashville’s Parthenon is the replica of the 42-foot statue of Athena that has been lost in the Athens temple since around 5th century AD. This reproduction was made by American sculptor Alan LeQuire and depicts Athena in a cuirass and helmet while carrying a shield on her left arm and holding up a small figure of Nike, the goddess of victory, in her right hand. The rest of the interior also closely resemble the classical architecture style of Ancient Greece. In particular, Nashville’s Parthenon boasts plaster molds of the Parthenon Marbles which have adorned the pediments of the original structure in Athens.

Aside from being an important monument to a notable time in history, Nashville’s Parthenon also serves as an art museum and gallery. Today, the Parthenon boasts a permanent collection of paintings made by various American artists from the 19th and 20th centuries. It also hosts several rotating exhibits featuring the very best of the local art scene in Nashville, Tennessee.

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