Having visited the real Parthenon in Athens, Greece. I felt that it was only fair to visit the life size replica, a little piece of Classical Greek Architecture built in the Doric style in Nashville Tennessee. The Tennessee Parthenon is located over 5600 miles away from the Original.
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A Little Piece of Tennessee History
The 1st Parthenon of Nashville Tennessee, was built as a temporary structure. The exterior of the building, sculptures, and decorative artwork were all made of plaster.
Though the structure was built to be temporary, the locals of Nashville fell in love with the Parthenon replica. They attempted multiple times to stretch out its lifespan, with a litany of patchwork repairs.
Through this series of dedicated repairs, they extended the original Parthenon’s lifespan until 1920. At which point the temporary structure was deemed beyond repair.
In the year of 1925 the reinforced concrete exterior had been finished. By 1931 the interior, and exterior of the Parthenon had been completed. It took from 1931, to 1982 for them to raise enough money for the Athena statue to be built.
Let’s See Some Art!
Currently, and every since the 1930’s, the Nashville Tennessee Parthenon has housed continuously changing art exhibits, and an array of historical galleries. It’s currently classified as a Fine Arts Museum.
A Golden Centerpiece
In her left hand, she holds a Shield, protecting the sacred Snake. She has a Spear with it’s shaft planted firmly on the ground, and it’s tip resting on her left shoulder.
Her helmet is gilded with a Sphinx at its center, and 2 Griffins one on each side, with the wings of a Pegasus on either side of the helmet. Upon her chest she wears the snake tasseled head of Medusa, given to her by Zeus.
In her outstretched right hand, with the palm facing up, she holds a 6’ Foot Tall, statue of Nike. Nike is known as the goddess of Victory, and is here depicted in her Greek Winged Victory form.
Even Athena of Parthenos sandals are ornate. With the outside of the soles depicting the mythical Greek Battle of the Centaurs, and Lapiths.
The Gold gilded scene across the base of her statue is the story of Pandora’s birth, as all the most important gods of Olympia watch over her birth.
A Closer Look
With Athena being the goddess of War, and Nike being the Goddess of Victory. The power of the two combined deities was expected to radiate out, and protect ancient Athens, and Greece. Bringing them Victory in Battle.
The Temple Parthenon is located at the top of the Acropolis at nearly 500’ feet above the city of Athens.
As we continued our tour of the Parthenon leaving the Naos Chamber, and house of Athena. We made it to the front of the Parthenon, and as we entered this last room, we faced the largest set of doors I’ve ever seen.
A local Nashville Architect, by the name of Russel Hart, designed these massive doors. These massive doors weigh 7.5 tons (or 15,000 Pounds), they are 7’ feet wide, and 24’ feet high, by 1’ foot thick. They are made of Bronze, and are the largest known set of Bronze Doors in the world.
These massive Bronze doors, are balanced on steel hinges, with ball bearing collars at the top, and bottom to help them move easily.
The Parthenon Pediments
Each of the Pediments from the Parthenon depict a different scene from Greek Mythology. The Pediment is the triangular shaped upper portion on the outside of the Parthenon near the roof.
For more historical information about the Parthenon replica of Nashville, Tennessee. Click Here
For Hours of Operation, and Museum Admission Prices: Click Here
The Roving Gypsy®
Thanks for reading my Travel Blog, I hope you enjoyed our tour of both Parthenon’s as much as we did. Like what you read, and want more, or have a suggestion for me? Follow, Share, and Comment to let me know.