Can’t afford a trip to Athens, Greece to see the historic Parthenon this summer? No problem. We have our own Parthenon right here in the U.S. That’s right, Nashville, Tennessee has a full-scale replica of the Parthenon and the 42-foot statue of Athena, just like the one in Greece.
Need to see it to believe it? Then head to Centennial Park, a sprawling urban green area located in Nashville. As the centerpiece of the park, the Parthenon is hard to miss. It was originally built for Tennessee’s Centennial Exposition in 1897. The detail is incredibly impressive— the replicas of the Parthenon Marbles are even casts of the original sculptures from Athens (now housed in London’s British National Museum).
But why a replica of the Athenian Parthenon? In the mid-1840s, Philip Lindsay, a local educator, thought Nashville’s schools should teach the ideals of classical Greek education (philosophy, Latin and Greek language, etc.). It was his hope that Nashville would become known as the “Athens of the West.” In honor of this vision, state officials decided to start construction on the replica in 1895, to commemorate the state’s 100th anniversary.
Nashville’s Parthenon isn’t just a stunning facade, it also houses the city’s art museum. The permanent collection consists of 19th and 20th century paintings by American artists. It also hosts a variety of temporary exhibits throughout the year.
Nashville’s Parthenon and Art Museum
2600 West End Avenue
Nashville, TN 37203
Hours: The Parthenon is open year round Tuesday – Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Additional hours during the months of June, July & August: Sundays, 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. The Parthenon is closed on Mondays year round. Admission: Adults – $6.00; Children 4-17 – $4.00 (under 4 free); Seniors 62+ – $4.00.
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