Nashville Parthenon – What to Know Before You Go

Tennessee - Nashville - Parthenon
Tennessee - Nashville - Parthenon

Visiting The Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee? There are some things you may want to know before you arrive. There are a lot of fun things to do in Nashville. But the Nashville Parthenon is a cut above the rest. It stands central to Music City’s Centennial Park and is a full-scale replica of the Parthenon that stands in Athens, Greece. 

Inside, there is a 42-foot gold-inlaid statue of the Greek goddess Athena. There is also a fixed display of American Paintings from the Cowan Collection, and the history of Music City dating back to the 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition. You can also catch a variety of temporary shows and exhibitions here. But for now, let’s unveil some things you might not know about the Nashville Parthenon.  

Nashville Parthenon – Older Than it Seems 

The Nashville Parthenon that we see today is actually the last in a series of its kind that has been in its spot. It was built on the foundation of a temporary one that stood there first. The cost of the construction was $1 million between 1920-1931.  

The most recent restoration took place between 1991 and 2001 and that one cost a whopping $12 million. It’s operated by the Nashville Parks System and serves as Nashville’s Art Museum.  

Alan LeQuire’s Athena Statue 

The sculpture of Athena stands 42 feet tall and was fashioned by local sculptor Alan LeQuire in 1990. Coated in gold leaf, this version of Athena is a reconstruction of the long-lost original that crumbled at an unknown date sometime in the first millennium. Interestingly, her spear was fashioned from a McDonald’s flagpole.  

Related:  Top Celebrity-Owned Bars and Restaurants in Nashville

Tennessee - Nashville - Parthenon

The 24-foot-Tall Doors of the Nashville Parthenon 

Another interesting piece of information about the Nashville Parthenon is its 24-foot-tall double doors. These massive doors are one foot thick and weigh seven and a half tons each. What’s most notable about them is that they can be easily operated by almost anyone. While you’re there – give it a go. 

The Nashville Parthenon Marble Has a strong Connection to the Original 

The Parthenon Marble that was recently moved from Naos to the Treasury room, are actually direct casts of the original sculptures that once adorned the pediments of the original Athenian Parthenon that stood in 438 BC. The originals from which the casts were made are still housed at the British Museum of London.  

Parthenon Speakers Bureau 

At the Nashville Parthenon, Speakers Bureau representatives will present a slideshow program for visitors. There are several programs from which to choose for the cost of a $25 donation.  

Group Prices Are Worth It 

A group of 10 or more can reserve a guided tour with discounted admission. The group price for seniors over 62 and children between 4 and 17 is $3.00, and adults are $5.50. General admission is $6.00. Also notable, the best time to visit for the least crowds is on Wednesday. 

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