There is a full-size Parthenon replica in Tennessee Centennial Park

While the real Parthenon has centuries and centuries of history behind it, its Tennessee replica is still a sight to behold.

Perhaps Nashville’s strangest attraction is its life-size replica of the Parthenon. It was built in 1897 as part of the Tennessee Centennial Exhibition. Today it is an art museum and the centerpiece of Centennial Park and is located just west of downtown Nashville. See here for 10 Things to Know in Nashville, Tennessee.

The structure and its carvings were built in an attempt to make it exactly as the original Parthenon would have been in ancient Greece. Although it is not made of the same materials, the Parthenon marbles being plaster replicas etc., it is perfect for seeing how this great Greek temple once stood.

The original Parthenon and “It’s Sparta!”

The Parthenon is located on the Acropolis of Athens and was dedicated to the goddess Athena. Construction began in 447 BC and was completed in 438 BC (decoration continuing for another 6 years). Find out here 10 amazing facts you didn’t know about the Parthenon in Athens.

The Athenians built it when they were at the height of their Athenian Empire (which eventually succumbed to Sparta – because don’t cross the Spartans!). Today it is the most important of the surviving buildings of classical Greece and is considered a symbol of ancient Greece, democracy and even Western civilization in general, being one of the greatest cultural monuments of the world.

In a way, the epic 2007 movie 300 (which defies description) is linked to the construction of the Parthenon. The film tells the fictionalized story of angry Spartans fighting the Persians at Thermopathea. This is based on actual historical events and the Battle of Thermopylae actually took place. While the Battle of Thermopylae was (in fact) a devastating defeat for the Greeks and Athens was captured after the battle, the Greeks ultimately won the war. To celebrate, the Parthenon was built to thank the gods for victory.

  • Fun fact: The Battle of Thermopylae was fought with around 7,000 Greeks, the 300 Spartans and 700 Thespians led rearguard action to allow the main army to escape.
  • Numbers: Popular numbers 700 Spartans and Thebans against 1 million Persians, probable numbers 7,000 Greeks against 100,000 Persians

Related: The European City of Athens Has More To Offer To Tourists Than The Acropolis

  • Old Parthenon: The predecessor of the temple was the ancient Parthenon (demolished by the Persians)
  • Treasury: As with many temples in the ancient world, the temple served as a treasure
  • Church: In the 6th century AD it was rededicated as a Christian church
  • Mosque: After the Ottoman conquest it was transformed into a mosque
  • Partial destruction: In 1687 an Ottoman ammunition dump detonated and severely damaged the ancient temple

Nashville Parthenon

As one of Nashville’s most iconic landmarks, it’s a must-see attraction. It features full-scale replicas of the original statues and more. The center of the Parthenon’s interior is a 42-foot statue of Athena. You can marvel at the plaster replicas of the Parthenon marbles (if you want to see the fragments of the originals, they are in the British Museum in London).

As the Nashville Art Museum, it houses a permanent collection of 63 paintings by American artists from the 19th and 20th centuries. Then there are additional gallery spaces for other interesting exhibitions and temporary exhibitions.

While the original Parthenon was made of Pentelic marble and its construction took about 10 years, the replica of the Nashville Parthenon is made of brick, stone, reinforced concrete and poured concrete. It also took 10 years for the Nashville Parthenon to be built.

  • Height: 65 feet at the top
  • Built: 1921 to 1931
  • Doric columns: 17 on each side, 6 on each side – 46 Doric columns in total
  • Interior: Divided into two rooms
  • East Room: Called Naos and houses the statue of Athena
  • West Room: Called the Treasure, in classical times it housed the Delian League treasure

Visit the Nashville Parthenon

  • Adults: $ 10.00
  • Students: $ 8.00 (4 to 17 years old)
  • Elders: $ 8.00 (62 years and over)
  • Infants: $ 0.00 Under 4 years
  • Members: To free

Related: Here Are 25 Wonders Of The World That Won’t Make The List But We Think They Should Be

During your stay, you may want to take a guided tour of the Parthenon. Guided tours are for groups of ten or more and are by reservation only. Note that school groups are not allowed to enter the Parthenon without a guide. Guided tours are a great way to really understand the many stories and rich history of the magnificent building. For more information and reservations, see their official website.

Many events and programs are organized here. These include daily, weekly, monthly, and public schedules – check their website to find out what’s on.

The Parthenon is one of the oldest standing structures in the world – it is around 2,500 years old. But there is old and there is really old, the Great Pyramid of Giza was already an ancient ruin by the time the Parthenon was built after 2000 years. See here why visit the 4,500-year-old ancient Great Pyramid of Giza.

Next: Is it safe to travel alone in Greece? Here are some tips to consider

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