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Random thoughts and pictures from our travels in a LazyDaze motorhome.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Those Greeks…

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We crossed the Ohio much easier than they had in the 1700s on our way to Nashville. Our original plan was to camp at a Corp of Engineers facility on the southeast side of Nashville, but we elected to stop here first to see the only full size copy of the Parthenon in the world. Remember your history, this building sits on top of the Acropolis in Greece. Here in Nashville of all places, you can visit the exact replica, originally built in 1896 no less!!

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A view of the west side. Practically across the street behind me is Vanderbilt University, I think they play basketball. Check out the design work above the columns.

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Who are these people and why are they fighting? Well, at the time of the building of this structure in Greece, it was believed that Athena, the chick on the left had to fight Neptune, the guy on the right, to see who would lord over the Acropolis and surrounding areas. Athena won. So, this is the mythical depiction of that fight.

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These are Griffins, and sit at each corner of the roof. I would like to have one. Note the design work and how that corner of the roof is merged into the facia and columns below. There are five or six fancy words to describe what is happening here. Also, note the wire mesh to keep birds away.

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This is a view looking nearly straight up. As you can see, there are more small sculptures beneath the main deck of the warriors. They all have special meaning. I like how the toes of Athena and Neptune are hanging over the edge. Why is Neptune nude and Athena not?

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This is a vertigo inducing picture of the design and construction between the tops of the columns. Just stare at it for awhile.

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A zoom into the patterns.

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I think this the best shot of the day. You are standing in the southwest exterior corner looking east down the length of the building, ie., this is the south side. I like the column shadow effects.

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Not a shadow here…

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This is the east side. If I remember correctly, Zeus is giving Athena a crown for winning the battle. All those other players are gods, goddesses, and demi-gods of Greek mythology.

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You can not walk through the huge doors into the main level of the Parthenon, you enter through a lower level. This is the entrance, which has a nice pictorial history of how the building was originally constructed for the Tennessee Centennial. Up the stairs is a nice art gallery. No pictures allowed beyond this point at this level.

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After the art gallery, you walk upstairs to the main level, called the Naos. I was so taken aback, I did not know where to begin taking pictures. Beyond the Naos is a smaller area where the column top depictions are housed on opposite walls. These are the best replicas made from the original stone work in Greece, scaled up in size on the exterior of the building.

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Here is the opposite wall of the smaller room. Sorry about the picture, but the ol Canon was amazed at those columns and ceiling beams.

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See, Americans CAN build stuff that lasts, if they want to.

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The Bronze Doors, and a poor picture. Just too much light coming through that opening.

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We are back into the Naos, coming from the small room in the back. Like I said before, I was stunned at the statue of Athena coming up from the art gallery. So, I decided to sneak up on her from the back first. Yes, that is GOLD leaf.

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Checking out her backside. Note the serpent and the large shield. It was difficult getting a good picture using a flash.

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A bit closer. Note the small creature sitting in her hand, the dual column structure, the ceiling, and the fight scene on her shield.

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Partial bronze or stone statues were lined up along the walls of the Naos. These are duplicates of the originals from Greece. These were used as the basis for the new statutory seen in the small room just beyond that person’s head in the lower right.

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A shot down the other side with the small room in the distance.

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Athena in all her glory. When this Parthenon was opened in the 1890s, they only had a small statue of Athena for the Centennial. They did have over 1000 paintings from around the world covering all the walls though. Over a million people visited the Centennial, pretty impressive.  A 24 year old sculptor re-created this Athena. Who is sitting on her left hand?

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Somewhat closer. Note the breastplate, helmet and asps around her wrists. All have specific meaning.

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Her sandals are comprised of crushed enemies. Nice toes though…

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Nike

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Big Snake!

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She’s a big girl…and tough!

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A smaller girl…and tough!

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The outside of her shield. That is Medusa’s head in the middle of at least a PG-13 slaughter.

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Nasty fighting…

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Gold tone with a measly bagman human.

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As we slink away, trying not to draw attention.

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