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This post was inspired by a comment and suggestion made by our new blogging buddy, Anita. She’s the creative spirit and talented singer/songwriter behind the fun, interesting and entertaining blog notedinnashville.com.
Thanks to her suggestion, we visited the Parthenon in Nashville, and it was awesome. Check out her blog, and give her lovely music a listen. Thanks Anita.
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Prominently perched atop the Acropolis in Athens is the ancient Parthenon. This iconic building is one of the most recognizable buildings in the world, and for many visitors, it’s the motivation for the journey to Greece. Most scholars consider it the perfect Greek building, but 2500 years and a turbulent history have not been kind to the structure. And truthfully, the restoration that remains today takes a good deal of imagination to fully appreciate. If we could just get a glimpse of a full-scale replica – and in Nashville, Tennessee, we can.
In 1897, a Centennial and International Exposition was held to blow the Tennessee trumpet (or more appropriately, twang the Tennessee guitar), and show visitors how modern and successful the state was.
Playing on their reputation as “The Athens of the South,” the decision was made to construct a complete, and full-scale replica of the Parthenon in Athens as the centerpiece for the exposition.
The temple was meant to be temporary, but it proved so popular, that it was rebuilt with more durable materials. Today it functions as a popular museum, which showcases the work of local artists, and an interesting display on the Exhibition. However, the headliner for the show is a replica of the sculpture of Athena, which originally stood in the Parthenon in Athens. Completed in 1990, this golden sculpture is breathtaking, and you’ll hear more about it later.
The temple and sculpture are exceptional because they’re the only full-size replicas in the world, and they’ve been reproduced with scholarly detail. I’ve visited the Acropolis in Athens twice, and I didn’t realize until I saw the Parthenon in Nashville, that my mental picture wasn’t complete. I had read about the beauty of the original, but couldn’t appreciate what this really meant until my visit to Nashville.
If you have an interest in Greek Architecture, and are anywhere near Nashville, do yourself a favor and make the detour to see the Parthenon. And who knows, you might even hear some music, and enjoy a bit of southern hospitality.
P.S. And for you attentive folks out there, NO that is not dandruff on the photos. It was snowing in Nashville! Amazingly, the last time we saw snow, we were living in Athens, Greece!