Once our bellies were full of delicious vegetarian food from The Wild Cow, Sarah and I set off to visit The Parthenon...and yes, we were still in Nashville, Tennessee!
I did not learn that Nashville has a full size replica of the Greek Parthenon until I was planning my trip. The Parthenon was originally built as the centerpiece attraction for the Tennessee's Centennial Exposition in 1897. The Exposition has a fascinating history. It was a six-month, world's fair-esque exhibition that was a rousing success, attracting 1.8 million attendees. An entire city was constructed within the limits of Centennial Park, literally. One of the most interesting facts that we learned during our tour is that the Exposition actually incorporated as a city so that they could serve alcohol, since the city of Nashville was dry at the time! The artifacts and photos housed inside The Parthenon are amazing! (I was not allowed to take pictures there).
The Parthenon built for the Exposition, like all of the other structures, was only meant to last for six months, so it was built out of wood and plaster. While no other structures from the Exposition remain, no one had the heart to tear the Parthenon down, so a restoration effort had to be make the building a permanent Nashville feature. Now, The Parthenon serves as Nashville's premier art gallery - with the remainder of the Exposition's grounds maintained as a gorgeous public park.
Note: I've been playing with uploading my photos directly to Blogger and I discovered, to my delight, that if you click on any photo - Blogger will open up a slideshow with all of the images from an individual post. I especially love this for the photos below! Click them in sequence, and you'll feel like you are surveying the beautiful water at Centennial Park!
Sarah and I were so engrossed with the Exposition's history, that we never made it to the second floor. Oh well, guess I'll just have to go back to Nashville to check that out!