Monday, July 21, 2014

Nashville. Parthenon. And Homage to Athena.

The Parthenon, Nashville.
I've drove by Centennial Park many times in Nashville. It is after all located in the uber-hip West End part of Nashville. Not too far from the fave foods of P. F. Chang's. And not too far of a long drive from the Tennessee PTA office over on Acklen either.

Well the family and I were in Nashville yesterday and to spend a little bit of time before heading over to Vanderbilt, we decided to go to Centennial Park, at first, just to walk around. My wife found a lovely swing to sit in and read her book.

My son and I were intrigued by the Parthenon. He always wanted to see the statue. Me being naive on the Parthenon had no idea what statue he was talking about. But I did take this great picture of the Parthenon. This was taken facing generally westerly looking across the park lake. There is a circular drive on the front side where lucky drivers can park their cars and have a short walk to the entrance. So, David and I decided to hike over to the Parthenon and see what was inside this amazingly constructed replica. I say westerly above to point out that the front of the building faces east. Which is the direction Athena faces.

What I discovered inside was a little bit unsettling. After all, I grew up instilled that Nashville was the belt buckle of the Bible belt. The honest-downhome-goodness of country music. More Southern than Global. So Nashvillians thought of their fair city as the Athens of the South? And to pay homage to that they decided building a replica of the Parthenon with a big statute representing a mythical god holding another mythical god along with Medusa and a serpent was a good thing? Well, we all have our little quirks I suppose. But as I say in the end of this post, what a gift to the city in educational value about learning history and culture.

So after perusing a lovely art gallery on the 2nd floor -- well worth the 6 dollars admittance fee to view the gallery by the way -- we climbed the steep stairs to the 3rd floor.

A 42-foot statute placed on a massive marble pedestal, gilded in gold (the real stuff) faced east protected by massive 1-foot-thick, 7.5 ton each bronze doors. Wow. I'll let the pictures below tell their story.

The architecture of the Parthenon is a real joy to see. One really has to go inside to see the artistic touches in completing this building. The amount of money sitting in one spot in the form of the Athena statue is amazing to see. The historical and artistic explanations enlightens many about the past Greece culture that has affected our society so much.

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