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Parks and Recreation

Parthenon Education Programs

Group Tour

Education is at the heart of all we do at the Parthenon. The Education Programs offer a wide variety of opportunities for all ages. Use the Parthenon to explore art, architecture, science, and even mathematical problems. The Education Department at the Parthenon focuses on state and national curriculum standards. Parthenon staff members or docent instructors guide K-12 groups. Reserve at least seven days in advance.

Important Tour Information

Parks limits Parthenon tour groups to 40 people. Schools wanting to bring larger groups must schedule multiple tours, either in one day or over multiple days.

Architectural Facts of the Parthenon

looking through the columns of the Parthenon porch

  • The Parthenon in Athens was carved out of Pentelic marble and it took the Greeks approximately 10 years to construct the building, 447-438 B.C.
  • Nashville's Parthenon was created from brick, stone, structural reinforced concrete, and cast concrete aggregate. It took the City of Nashville nearly 10 years to build their Parthenon, 1921-1931.
  • All horizontal architectural elements arch slightly in the center. This means there are no true straight horizontal lines in the Parthenon. These architectural refinements made the Parthenon look alive and flawless to the human eye. This curvature is repeated in Nashville's Parthenon.
  • The Parthenon is 65 feet high at its apex.
  • The peristyle consists of 46 Doric columns—17 on each side, six on each end (not counting the corner columns twice).
  • All of the exterior columns incline slightly inward. The corner columns are diagonally inclined; that is, they are angled toward both sides. Scholars disagree on the precise reasons for these refinements, but they clearly serve the aesthetic functions of the building.
  • The columns of the building differ in diameter from the ones beside them and are all spaced slightly differently.
  • All of the columns share a refinement called the entasis, a slight bulge or convex curvature of the shaft. Thus, although the shaft tapers, the largest diameter is about one-third of the way up rather than at the base.
  • The interior of the Parthenon is divided into two rooms. The east room is called the Naos and it houses the statue of Athena. The Naos is 93 feet long and 63 feet wide and has a two-story colonnade around three sides. The west room is 44 feet long by 63 feet wide and is called the Treasury Room. In antiquity this room housed the treasure of Athens and the Delian League.
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