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Nashville's Parthenon Replica

The Parthenon-Centennial Park

"Originally built for Tennessee's 1897 Centennial Exposition, this replica of the original Parthenon in Athens serves as a monument to what is considered the pinnacle of classical architecture" (http://www.nashville.gov/). Notice the elegant, simple Doric columns and how the frieze sculptures are painted (as they would have been in Ancient Greece). This replica is a wonderful and helpful illustration of what the actual Parthenon once was. 

Take, for instance, a full-size replica of the Parthenon (assuming the original was still intact) at Centennial Park in Nashville, Tennessee. It is an art museum, which is interesting, because the first art museum to exist (according to recorded history) was the one found in the Propylaia in the Athenian Acropolis constructed by Pericles (Stokstad 142). Perhpas the designers and architects who envisioned this museum hoped to revive the proto-humanist art-affirming cultural ideology of Ancient Athens, and so, they made their museum a replica of one of the biggest symbols of this proto-humanistic culture.

And of course, Athena, while being better known for being the Greek goddess of wisdom and justice, was also the goddess of the arts. 


Here is a nighttime view from a different angle. On this postcard you can see that this replica, unlike the actual Parthenon, is not situated on a great hill overlooking a metropolis. Instead, it is situated in the midst of some trees that are characteristic of the souther United States. There are some modern buildings and a lake around the replica, and unlike the above postcard (which is considerably simpler and mor focused than this card) everything is shrouded in this melancholic moonlight that almost romanticizes and mystifies the scene. The light glowing from within the replica is perhaps meant to symbolize a kind of enlightenment emanating through an architectural node from this incredible period of time. After all, the Parthenon, as a symbol, "represents the highest level of human creativity"  ("Secrets of the Parthenon"). 

Nashville's Parthenon Replica