Why Does Nashville Have a Replica of the Parthenon?

Why Does Nashville Have a Replica of the Parthenon?
Stuart Deming
Stuart Deming


Nashville, Tennessee is a city that is famous for its music scene, southern hospitality, and rich history. However, one of its most surprising attractions is a full-scale replica of the ancient Greek Parthenon. Built in the late 1800s, the Nashville Parthenon is an iconic landmark that has become a must-visit attraction for tourists and locals alike. In this blog post, we will explore the history behind why Nashville has a replica of the Parthenon.

The story of the Nashville Parthenon begins in the early 1800s, when a group of American explorers and archaeologists embarked on a journey to Greece to study the ancient ruins. Among the group was a man named William Strickland, an architect from Philadelphia who was fascinated by the ancient Greek architecture. Strickland was particularly impressed with the Parthenon, the ancient temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, which was built in Athens in the 5th century BC.

Strickland returned to the United States with a vision to recreate the aesthetic of the ancient Greeks and translate that into his designs here. His dream was to build monuments that would not only honor the ancient Greeks but also showcase the architectural genius of the United States. While Strickland was responsible for the designs of many beautiful buildings in Nashville, he unfortunately passed away before the Parthenon was built.

Nashville, at that time, was known as the “Athens of the South” because of its reputation as a center of education and culture. The citizens of Nashville wanted to honor this title and create a landmark that would reflect the city’s classical heritage.

The Nashville Parthenon was built as part of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition, a celebration of Tennessee’s 100th anniversary of statehood in 1897. The replica was intended to be a temporary structure, but its popularity among the visitors convinced the city to make it a permanent fixture. The replica was made to the same scale as the original Parthenon, and it even included a full-scale replica of the statue of Athena that stood in the original temple.

Over the years, the Nashville Parthenon has undergone several renovations to ensure its preservation. Today, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Nashville, and it houses an art museum that showcases the work of American artists.

In conclusion, the replica of the Parthenon in Nashville is a testament to the city’s classical heritage and its love for art and culture. The citizens of Nashville built the Parthenon as a tribute to the ancient Greeks and to showcase the architectural genius of the United States. Today, the Nashville Parthenon is a beloved landmark that continues to draw visitors from all over the world

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