The Nashville Parthenon

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Lonely Planet’s website has a story on Seven Amazing Fakes, reproductions of exotic structures – like Foamhenge, just like Stonehenge, same size even, although it is made out of Styrofoam rather than stone.

IMG_4643 - Parthenon, Nashville 542▲ Nashville’s Parthenon is rather better than an amazing fake. OK it’s concrete rather than marble, but it’s not only full size and accurately copied, in many ways it’s even better than the original – none of that nasty damage the Venetians caused back in 1687 when they shelled it when the Ottoman Turks were using it to store ammunition. Originally built as a temporary construction for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition. in 1897, the Nashville Parthenon’s permanent replacement was completed in 1931. I like these ‘temporary’ edifices which later become permanent (the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco for example, temporary in 1915, permanent in 1965) or simply stay that way (the Eiffel Tower was only intended to stand for 20 years).

IMG_4646 - statue of Athena, Parthenon, Nashville 542▲ The Nashville Parthenon even features a statue of Athena toting Nike in her right hand. Athena was added in 1990, the original Parthenon lost its Athena statue long ago. Of course the Nashville Parthenon is not the only attraction in the ‘Athens of the South,’ there’s also the Country Music Hall of Fame and all those noisy bars down Broadway.