We stood at the feet of a Goddess

Saturday, October 11, 2014

        I have always thought about how cool it would be to hit the road and see America. One of the things I was most looking forward to was road side attractions. My wife who knows me so well kept this in mind as she mapped out our ride. She plotted our route using Google Maps and a neat little feature to point out the sights along the way. She told me that a classic looking icon caught her eye.
        Anyone who knows me knows I have a love of classical culture. Nashville has a piece of classic culture reborn in America. A remake of the Parthenon in Athens. It has been there for over 100 years and I am just hearing about it now.

        I do not want to go in to a history lesson right now but I think about anyone who sees it will at least recognize the structure, even if you do not remember its name. It is the the icon of the classical age. Just it's silhouette has the power to conjure up memories of long forgotten Gods and legends.
         The original structure sits in ruins on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. In it's prime it was the height of Greek architecture. A testament to the love the Athenians held for there patron Goddess Athena. As the years passed it was taken over and re-purposed to house what ever deity conquered the city.
        I truly hope to find my way there one day. To see and feel the history that has been etched in to the stone with the passing of time. Till' then though the replica in Tennessee will have to do.
        I did not say all that to belittle what I found when I made it to Centennial Park. The replica was just as imposing as the original must have been. My heart raced a little as I walked around the lake between my parking spot and my destination and the true size of the monument was revealed. I felt rather small as I stood at it's base. 
        The American version looks more like the original would have in it's hay-day. It was easy for me to imagine that I was back in time. Lucky for me though, I was still here in the 21st century because without the assistance from the zoom lens on my camera I would not have been able to see all the details up close.
One would think that a 7 &1/2 ton door
would require a massive key. We thought
the tiny keyhole was amusing.

        Atop the awesome columns sits a cadre of classic Gods and Goddess carved in to the pediment. Below them are the largest set of brass doors in the world. I would have loved to had thrown them open and strode boldly in the main chamber. I knew the entrance was in the basement though and I am not sure I would have been able to open them if I tried.  
        The bottom floor of the building was dedicated to a museum that chronicle's the history of the Parthenon and a little souvenir shop. The 2nd floor is a little art gallery that sadly had little to do with Greek history but still was worth looking at. The main show was on the 3rd floor. Sitting in the back of a huge chamber is the largest indoor statue in the western hemisphere.
        The golden goddess is is even more beautiful that I had thought she would be. Her massive shield in one hand and her spear propped up in the crook of her arm. In her other arm she holds Nike as he crowns her with the golden laurels.
        To help you realize the true size of it all the god Nike is as tall as I am and she stands in her out stretched hand. At her feet and under the protection of her shield slithers a giant serpent. If her size is not impressive enough for you then the fact that she is covered in gold might.
        If you can pull your self from the goddess in the main room to go around to the backroom, there is a collection of plaster casts from the remains of some statues from the old Parthenon in Athens. They are impressive for what they are and it does help make you fell more like you were in the original.
Kayla had ten seconds to run across the basketball court sized room after setting up the camera to take this pic.
Sleydo Potato
        This place is a fun destination whether you are in to Classic history, American history, or just a park to play in. I have read good things about the park but the day I came they were preparing for a festival the next next day so the park was more of a mess. No one was playing in the park that day. We did not have time to stay for the festival though. Maybe next year.
        I say next year like I know it was an annual event. I do not know if it is or not but I can tell you that if I happen to find myself in Tennessee I would definitely stop there again. I might even know a potato who would like to go.
         
                 

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