Historic Building sights in Nashville
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The Harding-Jackson family began raising thoroughbreds here (6 miles west of Nashville) in the early 1800s. Every horse entered in the Kentucky Derby in the past five years is a descendant of Belle Meade's studly sire, Bonnie Scotland, who died in 1880. The 1853 mansion is open to visitors, as are various interesting outbuildings, including a model slave cabin.
At the northeast edge of downtown, this 1845 Greek Revival building was built from local limestone and marble by slaves and prison inmates working alongside Euro-pean artisans. Around back, steep stairs lead down to the Tennessee Bicentennial Mall, whose outdoor walls are covered with historical facts about Tennessee's history, and the wonderful daily Farmers Market.
The so-called 'Mother Church of Country Music' has hosted a laundry list of 20th-century performers, from Martha Graham to Elvis to Katherine Hepburn to Bob Dylan. The soaring brick tabernacle was built in 1890 by wealthy riverboat captain Thomas Ryman to house religious revivals, and watching a show from one of its 2000 seats can still be described as a spiritual experience. The Grand Ole Opry took place here for 31 years, until it moved out to the Opryland complex in Music Valley in 1974. Today the Opry returns to the Ryman during winter.