Can't make it to Greece this summer? If your heart is set on seeing the Parthenon, consider touring the full-scale replica of the temple, in Nashville, Tennessee.
Once inside, stand at the foot of a 42-foot tall statue of Athena, gilded with eight pounds of gold. In her right hand sits the goddess of victory, Nike. Though tiny in comparison, she stands over six feet tall. Athena's left hand rests on the rim of a fifteen-foot high shield.
Wander to the far wall and stand before enormous 24-foot high bronze doors. On the opposite wall you can see casts of the original pediment statues. You might be surprised by the daubs and splashes of color throughout the building. Keep your camera handy to capture images, but on the second floor and outside only.
Set in beautiful Centennial Park, two miles west of downtown Nashville, the Parthenon was first built in 1897 to commemorate 100 years of Tennessee statehood. This temporary structure was later replaced with a permanent one in 1931. Since reopening, it has attracted thousands of visitors from all over the world.
Whether you're visiting Vanderbilt University, coming into Nashville for the music or food, don't miss strolling the Parthenon galleries, exhibits and walking trails that make this city the "Athens of the South."
The Parthenon is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 - 4:30 and on Sunday from 12:30 - 4:30. Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for children (4 - 17). For more information call 615-880-2265.