More than a century ago, Nashville was nicknamed the “Athens of the South,” thanks to its plethora of institutions of higher learning. It might make more sense, then, that the city built a full-scale replica of the ancient Parthenon in Athens to celebrate the 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition. Today the structure functions as an art museum with a permanent collection of 63 paintings by American artists from the 19th and 20th centuries. The site also draws architecture buffs looking for a better feel for the scale and scope of the Parthenon, the original of which lies in ruins in Greece. There are plaster casts of the famous Elgin marbles that once decorated the exterior, and in 1990, the museum commissioned a 42-foot-high replica of the original gilt Athena Parthenos statue. The museum is located in the center of the lush, pond-filled Centennial Park, which is worth an afternoon stroll.