Okay, prepare yourselves: you may not be aware of this, but there is a full-size replica of the Parthenon located in Nashville, Tennessee. If you're looking for an unusual addition to your next Tennessee odyssey, you'll want to include a stop in to check out this unexpected sight. It also houses a museum with a collection of American art and, oh, yeah, a 42-foot-tall statue of Athena. Yup.
Why, is there a replica of the Parthenon in Nashville, you ask? A fair question. The replica was built in 1897 as part of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition, because apparently even before the city was home to this massive construction it already considered itself "the Athens of the South" due to its emphasis on education and culture. It wasn't intended to be a permanent structure, but when it started to crumble the city decided to rebuild it, and the current model was finished in 1931.
It's difficult to really explain how large and shiny the Athena statue is, but let's just say you won't be disappointed. Kids will remember the statue from her appearance in the recent film Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, and adults may remember the structure from Robert Altman's film Nashville.
There's something distinctly Southern and wonderfully odd about this replica relic plopped right in the middle of the city (and the full-size jet and train included alongside it in Centennial Park). Be sure to include this stop on your next visit to Nashville.