Friday, March 9, 2012

Athena And The Athens of The South


Nashville may be famous for country music but this charming city is also known as the Athens of the South. All the universities, museums and cultural activities earned Nashville that nickname but imagine my surprise when I gazed up at the golden Athena pictured above. Looming 41 feet, 10 inches and weighing 12 tons, Athena Parthenos, as the statue is called,  is a jaw-dropping showstopper.  Tucked into an exact replica of the Athenian Parthenon, the gilded Athena was constructed in Nashville by noted sculptor Alan LeQuire over a period of time from 1982-1990. I had no idea that Nashville took their nickname so seriously but standing in the Parthenon, gazing up at Athena Parthenos is probably as close as you can get to Greece in the U.S.

10 comments:

Catherine said...

That statue is certainly a beautiful show stopper and the Parthenon replica is indeed a beautiful building - what I wonder creates the impulse to recreate other parts of the world in this way?? Greetings from the Riviera....

Fly Girl said...

Catherine, that fascinates me as well. I never expected to find a replica of a Greek landmark in the heart of the South.

A Cuban In London said...

Thank you very much. You take me to places that I didn't even know existed. We also have our very own Athens of Cuba. That's Matanzas, the next province along after Havana to the east.

Greetings from London.

Fly Girl said...

Cubano, I didn't know Matanzas was the Cuban Athens. Do they have any Greek influenced structures?

A Cuban In London said...

No, it's because of the intellectual life in the colonial and post-colonial times. Many Cuban novelists, poets, painters and the like were born or were based in Matanzas. It was always Havana, as the capital, and Matanzas closely behind. :-)

Greetings from London.

Fly Girl said...

Cubano, Ahhh, I suspected as much. Matanzas always seems to be connected to great artists. I would love to visit when I finally make my sojourn to Cuba.

Christy said...

Alright, for a moment, I thought I was in Athens!:p It's a really cool idea to have this replica of Athens in US, and at least you get a glimpse of Greece without flying across oceans!;)

Fly Girl said...

Christy, I know! It really trips you out to see this Greek monument in the middle of Tennessee. Thanks for dropping by.

Andrew Graeme Gould said...

How amazing! I would never have expected that to be there! On first seeing the photo, By the way, I thought for a moment that it was the Buddhist goddess of Mercy Kwan Yin, and then I realised that this one didn't have her typical look.

Fly Girl said...

Andrew, that's funny! Goddess' all share a certain look, I think.