The Parthenon In Nashville, Tennessee

by David Padfield

Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee


Nashville, Tennessee is home to the world's only replica of the Parthenon. The original Parthenon is located on the crest of the Acropolis, a hill overlooking Athens, Greece.

The Parthenon was dedicated to Athena Parthenos, the Greek virgin goddess of wisdom and the protectress of the city. Mythology credited her with giving Athens the olive tree and inventing such tools as the potter's wheel. A 42 foot ivory statue of Athena adorned the sanctuary in the temple.

The full scale replica was built for Tennessee's Centennial Exposition in 1897. For many years Nashville had been known as the "Athens of the South," and thus it made sense to build a replica of the Parthenon of Ancient Greece and use it as the theme for the Exposition.

One of the best known sermons in the Bible was delivered by the apostle Paul on Mars' Hill in the very shadow of the ancient Parthenon. On this occasion Paul said, "God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things." (Acts 17:24-25).