The Athens of the South

How Nashville got this name is unclear to me, but apparently it is The Athens of the South. So much so, that when holding a Centennial Exhibition for the city in 1897 they thought the spectacular thing they should build, rather than a Crystal Palace, would be an exact model of the Parthenon in Concrete. Spectacular. 

Naturally we paid the $6 each to enjoy such a sight! Inside there is a museum all about the original exhibition and the other things they chose to display. 

I was particularly interested that they chose to display a cotton plantation in the agriculture section, long after slavery was ended, and they had black people there playing the role of the slaves picking the cotton all day. What fun they must have had!

There was also an art gallery with paintings of dubious relevance and quality, which was never explained. 

But the crowning glory was going up inside the Parthenon structure itself, and the sight that awaits you within. Yes, it’s a statue commissioned in the 1980s, completed in the 1990s and with the gilding completed in 2002. Astounding in its hideousness, brashness, and bling. Only in America. 

Well worth the money I say!


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