Parthenon in Athens. Here are some very interesting facts that we learn during our visit:
- The Parthenon was built for the Centennial Expo in 1897.
- The Centennial Expo commemorated the 100th anniversary of Tennessee's statehood.
- The Parthenon was chosen as the main building at the Expo because Tennessee used to be known as the Athens of the South. It is now better known as Music City thanks to the Grand Ole Opry.
- It was the first of 36 buildings built for the Expo. They were all built to be temporary. The other buildings were torn down (two were moved) but the people of Nashville did not want the Parthenon to be torn down.
- The original structure was plaster, wood and brick. It remained for 23 years before something more permanent needed to replace the badly deteriorating building.
- The materials were replaced beginning in 1920 (over 11 years) with permanent materials (concrete). The building was restored in the 1990's.
- In 1990, they began the construction of Athena. The Parthenon in Ancient Greece was originally built (@450 BC) to house the statue of Athena but the statue disappeared long ago. The original Athena was made of Ivory and Gold.