THE PARTHENON

 

AND CENTENNIAL PARK

 

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE

 

Ancient Greece Meets The Music City

 

.

 

Since I am allotted only 2 weeks a year (that’s only 336 hours) to see the world beyond our wonderful little speck on the Ohio map, I consider it a waste of time to eat lunch at an ordinary interstate highway rest area... so I look for something better. Our lunch stop on our 2003 vacation was a jewel. On a sunny Sunday noontime, we ate our pre-prepared deli meat sandwiches beneath a shade tree near the Parthenon in Nashville’s Centennial Park.

The Parthenon is the centerpiece of Nashville’s scenic and spacious Centennial Park. The Nashville Parthenon is a full-sized replica of the famous Parthenon in Athens, Greece. Both structures were constructed in about 10 years... Athens’ from 447-438 B.C. and Nashville’s from 1921-1931. Like its Greek counterpart, the Nashville Parthenon faces east... allowing for the same light penetration and dramatic shadows as the original. (Upon learning this, I began to wonder how the difference in the two cities’ latitudes would affect the light penetration and shadows. As it turns out, Athens is at ~38° north latitude... Nashville is at ~36°... a nearly negligible 2-degree difference.) Aside from the fact that the Nashville Parthenon is completely intact, the only major difference between the two structures is the materials from which they were constructed. The Athens Parthenon was sculpted from marble. The Nashville Parthenon was created from more manageable (and affordable) molded concrete aggregate, reinforced concrete, brick and rock... and the structure is beautiful nonetheless.

Inside the Parthenon, visitors are greeted by a 42-foot sculpture of Athena, the goddess of wisdom... the stunning focal point of this impressive piece of architecture. This large golden-trimmed sculpture is a recent addition to the Parthenon... unveiled in 1990.

Some of the above info came from Nashville’s web site:

http://www.nashville.gov/parthenon/index.htm

This site contains extensive background info.

The Parthenon is also the home of Nashville’s art museum. The majority of the permanent collection was donated to the city by insurance executive James M. Cowan in 1927. The collection consists entirely of paintings by American artists and primarily features landscapes and other natural scenes. The art museum also features two galleries for housing temporary exhibits. Photography is not permitted within the galleries. The price is very affordable... $3.50 for adults (18-61) and $2 for kids and seniors. Kids under 4 are free. The museum is open Tues. - Sat. from 9 to 4:30 and Sunday from 12:30 to 4:30. They’re closed on Monday.

Centennial Park is a very large park, situated on the west side of the city. Nashville’s downtown skyline is visible from the park. The park features some statues and monuments, duck ponds and great landscaping. The Parthenon is adjacent to a gigantic, well-maintained lawn allowing for spectacular photos of the structure. For those from outside Nashville, the Parthenon itself is far-and-away the primary attraction, and is not to be missed by those who appreciate fine architecture.

Centennial Park is surprisingly accessible from the highway. There are several ways to get there depending on your direction of approach, but perhaps the easiest way is to take I-440 exit 1 (West End Avenue) and travel east (toward downtown) on West End Avenue about 1 mile. The park is clearly marked on the left. Your driving time off the interstate will be less than 5 minutes each way.

Nashville is a city that clearly has much to offer its visitors, and I’d like to spend more time there someday. If you’re just passing through, like we were, I’d recommend taking just a few minutes to check out this amazing structure in this beautiful park.

 

Read my reviews from our 2003 travels on epinions.com:

The Parthenon - Nashville, Tennessee

A Family Guide to New Orleans, Louisiana

How FAMILIES can enjoy Bourbon Street

The Wyndham Hotel - Downtown New Orleans

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas - New Orleans

Pensacola Beach, Florida

Best Western Resort - Pensacola Beach, Florida

Rock City & Ruby Falls - Chattanooga, Tennessee

A Family Guide to Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Ripley's Haunted Adventure, Gatlinburg

Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum, Gatlinburg

Park Vista Hotel, Gatlinburg

A LIST OF ALL OF MY EPINIONS.COM REVIEW

 

.

 

 

 

 

THE PARTHENON

 

THE PARTHENON

 

THE PARTHENON & NASHVILLE TOUR TROLLEY

           
 

 

 

 

PARTHENON COLUMNS

 

JOHN W. THOMAS STATUE

 

PARTHENON DETAILS

           
 

 

 

 

CENTENNIAL PARK

 

CENTENNIAL PARK

 

CENTENNIAL PARK

           
 

.

 

 

.