Athens of the South

As much as I hate to see it go, it was time to change the header — as beautiful as it was, no more candles in the snow.  I’ll likely resurrect it next winter (because I love it that much), but it was time for something new.  The new header is excerpted from this photo of the Parthenon in Nashville:

You may wonder, truly: the Parthenon … in Nashville?  And all I can say is, yes, indeed. It’s totally bizarre and random, but also pretty cool.  Apparently Nashville is the Athens of the South.  I’m guessing this is in the same way that Millsaps is the Harvard of the South (according to sweatshirts in the campus book store).  Maybe this would make more sense if there were a complementary Nashville of the Mediterranean or Millsaps of the North, though maybe not.

Anyway, the Parthenon was built as the center piece of Centennial Park for the Tennessee Centennial and International Exposition of 1897.  It was originally constructed out of brick, wood, and mostly plaster.  Much like Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition a few years before, there were numerous buildings and pavilions constructed for the event, which lasted six months.  All the structures were designed and intended to be temporary, but there was such public affection for the Parthenon that it was decided to let it stay. Not being designed for the long term, however, it deteriorated and began to fall apart.  It was reinforced and mostly rebuilt between 1920 and 1931.  Today its subterranean galleries serve as the art museum for the city of Nashville while the Parthenon’s interior is home to a replica of Phidias’s statue of Athena Parthenos — the original of which the Parthenon in Athens was built to house.

If you click the link above you can read more about the gigantic statue, which was created by Alan LeQuire and was unveiled in 1990.  LeQuire also sculpted the massive Musica, which sits in the center of a traffic circle known as the Music Row Roundabout.  I didn’t take any photos of it, but you can see it if you do a Google Image search for “musica nashville.”

Here are some photos from our time in Centennial Park on Wednesday:

Here is the giant Pallas Athena.   She is 41’10”, and the statue of Nike in her hand is itself 6’4″.

And one last pic, just because it’s cute:

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4 Responses to Athens of the South

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I love the photos of J!

  2. randasfans says:

    Thanks! Pretty cute, huh?

  3. Wendy says:

    I love the pics! I have a picture of Colin and I taken outside the Parthenon in Greece. The next time we went to Nashville we had to have a picture taken there as well. Now we have a Parthenon matching set.

    P.S. Jeremy does look cute 🙂

  4. Kim says:

    Wish you would’ve called us! We could’ve cooked you some quinoa and had drinks on our patio. In fact, I think I was at Centennial with my 6 year old on the same day you were there! At least we’ll get to catch up at Jane’s wedding.

    Glad you enjoyed your Nashvegas trip,

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