Nashville is full of hidden gems and interesting tidbits that are sure to pique your interest. Nashville, Tennessee has rich music history, a thriving cultural scene, and plenty of unique attractions and landmarks. If you’re someone who lives in Nashville, looking to buy a house there, planning to move into a condo in Music City, or check out the Nashville housing market, these 10 facts will help you better understand and appreciate living in Nashville, better known as the “Athens of the South.”
1. Nashville or Nashborough?
Nashville was originally called Fort Nashborough and was founded by James Robertson in 1780. This historic city is named after Francis Nash, a general in the Revolutionary War who was killed in the Battle of Germantown. Nashville was a key city, playing an important role in the Civil War. Today, it is a thriving city with a rich history and culture, and is known for its music, food, and hospitality.
2. “Athens of the South”
The city is known as the “Athens of the South” due to its numerous universities and colleges. Nashville is home to several prestigious higher education institutions, including Vanderbilt University, Belmont University, and Lipscomb University. It also has a thriving community college system, with several campuses throughout the city. This has earned Nashville a reputation as a hub of education and intellectualism, leading to the nickname “Athens of the South.”
3. Nashville has a replica of the Greek Parthenon
Nashville has the only replica of the Greek Parthenon in the world. It was built in 1897 as part of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition and is now a popular tourist attraction. The replica is a full-scale reproduction of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece, and is made of concrete, brick, and plaster. Inside, visitors can see a 42-foot statue of the Greek goddess Athena, as well as a variety of other works of art and artifacts.
4. Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
Nashville is home to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, which features exhibits on country music legends such as Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, and Garth Brooks. This museum is a fun-filled destination for anyone interested in country music history, as it has a vast collection of artifacts, photographs, and recordings related to the genre. You can also take part in guided tours and educational programs, making it a great place if you’re a country music fan.
5. The city is home to a giant statue of Minnie Pearl
The city is also home to the world’s largest statue of a recording artist, a 42-foot tall sculpture of country singer and actor, Minnie Pearl. The statue is located at the entrance to the Grand Ole Opry House, and is a beloved symbol of Nashville’s musical heritage. Pearl was a trailblazer in the country music scene, known for her trademark hat and Southern charm. The statue is a testament to her impact on the genre, as well as a reminder of Nashville’s status as the home of country music.
6. Hot Chicken originated in Nashville
Nashville is known for its hot chicken, a spicy fried chicken dish that originated in the city. The dish is made by marinating chicken in a hot sauce, and then frying it until crispy. It is usually served with white bread and pickles, and can be ordered in varying levels of spiciness. Hot chicken has become a staple of Nashville cuisine, with many Nashville restaurants specializing in the dish. The annual Hot Chicken Festival, held every July 4th, celebrates this iconic dish and its place in the city’s culinary heritage.
7. A full-scale replica of the Titanic sits in Nashville
Nashville has a full-scale replica of the Titanic, which serves as a museum dedicated to the ill-fated ship. The museum features artifacts and exhibits related to the Titanic’s construction, voyage, and sinking. Visitors can see replica rooms, costumes, and even touch a real iceberg. The museum also features interactive exhibits and educational programs for all ages. The Titanic Museum is a unique attraction that offers a fascinating glimpse into one of history’s most tragic events.
8. Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House is one of the most iconic venues in the world
The city’s Grand Ole Opry House has been hosting country music performances since 1925 and is considered one of the most iconic music venues in the world. The Opry House is the current home of the Grand Ole Opry radio show, which has been broadcasting live country music performances for over 90 years. The venue has hosted countless legendary musicians and is an iconic destination for anyone interested in country music history. The Opry House is also notable for its unique architecture, which features a distinctive circular stage.
9. The city is the birthplace of “Nashville sound”
Nashville is the birthplace of the famous “Nashville sound,” a production style that originated in the 1950s and blended country music with pop, rock, and R&B. The Nashville sound was characterized by its lush orchestration and sophisticated arrangements, and helped to bring country music into the mainstream. The sound was pioneered by musicians such as Chet Atkins and Owen Bradley, and became a defining feature of the Nashville music scene. Today, Nashville continues to be a hub of music production and innovation, with musicians and producers from around the world flocking to the city to work in its legendary recording studios.
10. Nashville’s AT&T Building is called the “Batman Building”
Nashville is home to the “Batman Building,” a 33-story skyscraper with a unique design that resembles the famous comic book superhero’s mask. The building is officially called the AT&T Building and was completed in 1994. Its distinctive design has made it one of Nashville’s most recognizable landmarks, and it’s a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. The building’s nickname is a nod to its resemblance to the iconic Batman symbol, and reflects Nashville’s playful and creative spirit.