Probably Nashville, Tennessee's most iconic event space, the Ryman Auditorium has been standing proudly on the edge of 5th Avenue North since its inception in the year 1881. Named after its founder, renowned local businessman Thomas Ryman, the building's stunning red sandstone walls and grandiose Gothic-Revival facades enable it to stand out above the rest in the very heart of the city's pleasant urban landscape. Drenched in history, the auditorium's vintage-style wooden stage is no stranger to superstars having hosted the likes of Johnny Cash and the legendary Charlie Chaplin back in the early periods of the 20th-century. The venue's popularity really gained momentum the day it started hosting the Grand Ole Opry radio show, earning it the title 'The Mother Church of Country Music'. Historic site by day, the auditorium transforms into a happening venue for enthralling bluegrass, jazz, classical, country and gospel performances in the evenings.
When the world-famous Ryman Auditorium closed its doors to country music performances, a section of the stage was removed and installed here at the new home of the Grand Ole Opry. Country music artists, past and present, consider performing on this stage as one of the highest of honors that can ever be bestowed upon them, which is why many of the American music industry's all-time greats have graced the Opry at some point in their careers. The 45,000 square foot (4,180 square meters) building seats 4,400 people. The stage markets itself as 'The Show That Made Country Music Famous' and plays host to the prestigious Country Music Association Awards. Bluegrass, gospel, Americana and folk music concerts are also held here.
The quiet city of Nashville loves the tranquil aura that radiates from its Centennial Park. A perfect retreat for avid nature lovers, the park offers a wide range of entertainment and relaxation options for one and all. Take a calming walk in the park, attend cultural events and local fairs, picnic with family and friends or simply lounge around the sprawling green land. Admire the beauty of Lake Watauga or simply enjoy the splendor of the rose arbor. The Parthenon replicates the structure of the ancient citadel right in the heart of the park. The park is famous for its TACA Fall Crafts Fair, which is a fantastic outdoor event that showcases and sells the work of American fine craft artists at the park. You can also buy souvenirs for your loved ones at the park as you discover unusual visual treasures.
The oldest print shop in America opened in 1879. For decades, Hatch Show Print was the leading poster printer for circuses, vaudeville shows and sporting events. Today, it is located in the Country Music Hall of Fame and is best known for creating images of Grand Ole Opry stars, thousands of which line the shop's walls. Modern-day artists employ the same techniques that have been used since the 15th century, including printing works on site.
Nashville's first movie house opened in 1925, was briefly home to the Grand Ole Opry, and evolved into a premier venue for live entertainment and film. Today Belcourt Theatre has emerged as the place for cutting-edge productions, including independent flicks, Mockingbird Theater, and the Nashville Shakespeare Festival. Events happen monthly and movies are shown every day.
It is fitting that the "Athens of the South" is home to the world's only full-size replica of the ancient Parthenon. Forty-six Doric columns encircle the building. The largest bronze doors in the world, weighing 7.5 tons each, stand at the East and West entrances. Featured is Athena Parthenos, the tallest indoor sculpture in the Western world. Sculptures and friezes are modeled from Elgin Marbles at the British Museum in London. There are also four art galleries. While the prices are reasonable, you can avail discounts for groups of ten or more with a reservation.
The Frist Center for the Visual Arts is a wonderful place for art lovers. The center educates visitors on art and hopes it will bring about an interest in the community on the subject. The architecture is beautiful and the interiors and decor lend the space a very upscale elite ambiance and it frequently hosts art exhibitions. At the Frist Center, there is also a fabulous gift shop, where one can purchase memorabilia and other items and an excellent cafe where one can savor some delightful dishes and sip on coffee. Admission is free for students who are 18 and below.
The Bridgestone Arena (formerly Sommet Center) is an immense building that hosts impressive events that range from classical concerts to sports. This entertainment center has hosted the Miss Teen America Pageant, a concert by American Idol's Clay Aiken, Sarah McLachlan, Prince, and even the US 2004 Gymanstics Championships. Within the center there are meeting rooms, rehearsal halls, the Levy Restaurant, scoreboards and VIP suite facilities. Dedicated to music is the Music City Theater with excellent acoustics for a musical performance.
Discover the stories behind the music as you view over 3,000 stage costumes, original song manuscripts and musical instruments at Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Many of the personal items of music legends are on display including Elvis' solid gold Cadillac. Tour packages include a visit to the historic RCA Studio B and the Music Row walking tour. Allow at least two hours for exhibits and the tour.
The Schermerhorn Symphony Center opened in September 2006 as the first permanent home for the Nashville Symphony. The hall, which was named after the late Maestro Kenneth Schermerhorn, is used for symphony performances as well as a variety of other concert events throughout the year. The hall includes a variety of innovative designs which add to the ambiance of the symphony. Specially designed windows provide natural interior light, and movable banners and panels provide the ideal acoustics for a variety of musical genres. The convertible seating system can transform from rows of raked seating perfect for performances to a level, hardwood ballroom floor for cabaret-style events and jazz concerts. The beautiful symphony center is a wonderful addition to music city.