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The Parthenon

Centennial Park, Nashville, Tennessee 37203 | (615)862-8431
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6 Reviews
Type: Playgrounds & Playspaces and Stores
Ages: Ages 6 — adult
Cost: Free
Hours of operation: Tu-Sa: 9-4:30, Jun, Jul & Aug: Su, 12:30-4:30pm

The Parthenon stands proudly as the centerpiece of Centennial Park, Nashville's premier urban park. The re-creation of the 42-foot statue Athena is the focus of the Parthenon just as it was in ancient Greece. The building and the Athena statue are both full-scale replicas of the Athenian originals.

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. The plaster replicas of the Parthenon Marbles found in the Naos are direct casts of the original sculptures which adorned the pediments of the Athenian Parthenon, dating back to 438 B.C. The originals of these powerful fragments are housed in the British Museum in London.

The Parthenon also serves as the city of Nashville's art museum. The focus of the Parthenon's permanent collection is a group of 63 paintings by 19th and 20th century American artists donated by James M. Cowan. Additional gallery spaces provide a venue for a variety of temporary shows and exhibits.

The Parthenon will be closed on July 4, Labor Day, the Thursday & Friday of Thanksgiving week, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

6 Reviews for The Parthenon

April 14 2013
1 family found this helpful
"Great Place To Run"

This was a fun place to allow my boys to run around.  They ran up the stairs and enjoyed rolling down the grassy hill.  We did not go inside the Parthenon as we did not think it would keep the kid's attention (both under 7 at the time).  We found a park across the street that they really enjoyed.  
It's a great place to run and enjoy with the little ones.

April 14 2013
0 families found this helpful
"Be Sure to Ask for a Tour!"

My oldest daughter and I visited the Parthenon after studying Ancient Greek & Roman history (we homeschool). We had a BOGO coupon, so the price was right! Honestly, the exhibits here are a bit scant. If you're a native Nashvillian, you might especially enjoy the historical photos of when the Parthenon was first built. And there is some lovely artwork that seems a bit out of place. But the main event is, of course, Athena. As impressive as she was in stature, she appears decpetively small, compared to her actual size. It wasn't until we ran into a volunteer arriving for the day who offered to give us a "tour" of her that we realized exactly how enormous she is. He was full of information about all the elements adorning the statue (some, I'm proud to say, we actually recognized from our studies!) and how and when she was created. We were amazed as he pointed out specific body parts and compared them in size to modern objects--she is one "statuesque" goddess! We enjoyed trolling through the other exhibits as well, but my best advice for any visitors is to seek out a knowledgeable staff member or volunteer to help bring the statue to life, rather than simply reading the information on the plaques. Ours was amazing (and the grandfather to homeschool kids too!) and truly made the experience worth the ticket price.

January 10 2011
0 families found this helpful
"Not for young kids"

You need to stop and see The Parthenon if youre in the area just so you can say you've been there.  Its a beautiful structure that makes for great photo opporunities but there really isn't much to keep kids entertained unless there happens to be a festival going on.

December 23 2010
0 families found this helpful
"Loved it!"

WOW WOW! Definitely a site to see!
We were driving through Nashville on our way home from a long trip but we couldn't bypass the opportunity to see this great site. My kids had just watched Percy Jackson on DVD for the 3rd time so I wanted them to see where the movie was filmed.  The adventure did not disappoint us. We have not frequented many art museums with the kids, so it was interesting to see them studying the paintins inside..and how thrilled they were to investigate the mythological statues. I was a little bummed that there was a festival of some sort going on, so the front of the buidling was blocked by a huge tent..but we still got some great shots from the back and sides.  
Centennial Park is amazing! What a resource for locals! My kids LOVED the playground and following the geese around.  Definitely worth a stop!

December 23 2010
0 families found this helpful
"Kids were bored, pics came out great though..."

We took the kids there just because we had nothing better to do one day...they were completely bored in less than 10 minutes...but we got some great photos to enjoy for years to come. It is beautiful, just not very entertaining, especially for younger kids...

December 23 2010
0 families found this helpful

Definitely fun to wander around the Parthenon and snap photos of the family. There will probably be some sort of event going on in the park as well, the last time I was there we stumbled across a polka party! Crafts, festivals, etc are often in the area, as well as restaurants and shopping.

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