The highlight of my time in Nashville (aside from spending time with my hubby) was getting to visit the Parthenon at Centennial Park.
I have always wanted to go to Greece for as long as I can remember. Standing next to a replica of the original structure was sort of surreal. It was like traveling back in time, or more appropriately, having something travel forward in time to where I am.
The first thing you are struck with is the size. The thing is BIG! This isn’t such an impressive thing in 2014 but when you consider it is modeled after a structure originally built in the 400s BC it is staggering!
The next thing you notice is all the intricate details. From the sculptures on the pediments to the doors and ceilings, everything is a work of art.
You can’t see it, but all of the sculptures are covered in a fine mesh to keep the birds from nesting and pooping on them. :) The Parthenon was originally built in 1897 as a part of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition. It was only meant to be a temporary structure and was made of plaster and wood and brick. But it was so popular and would have been so costly to destroy, that they left it there to the elements. By 1920, a project to rebuild the Parthenon in concrete began. The exterior was completed by 1925 and the interior by 1931.
While I was completely in awe of the exterior, I really wanted to see the main attraction of the Parthenon and why it was originally built in 438BC: the 43-foot high Athena Parthenos! But that meant I would have to wait for the museum to open at noon.
In the meantime, I wandered through Centennial Park. What a lovely park! Everything was clean and pleasant and scenic. There was a lake with a walking trail around it, a train engine, a plane, and everything else you’d find in a city park…
There is a painting on the back of her shield and carvings on the sides of her sandals
Part of the display upstairs included plaster casts of the original statues that are now on display at the British Museum in London or the Acropolis Museum in Athens.
We weren’t allowed to take pictures in the museum in the basement that included displays of paintings and the history of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition. What an amazing attraction! If I could travel back in time, I would go! There were carnival rides, pavilions for different countries, art exhibits, and even a restaurant themed on Dante’s Inferno where diners ate off of tables built from coffins with skull chandeliers overhead.