Happy Birthday to the state of Tennessee! On this day in 1796, Tennessee moved from being a territory to a state. And what better way to celebrate the birth of the state that we now we call home than by visiting the State Capital in Nashville. The park that has been created at the foot of the capital building shows all that makes Tennessee.
The walkways on either side have a series of large stone pillars with dates listed on them. And lining the walkways is a black stone barrier listing all the events that happened in Tennessee within those dates listed on the pillars. The information they listed on the stone was very inclusive of the state’s history with the things that make the people proud but also the other parts of history that make us sad. I appreciated that approach, embracing not only the good but also the bad, because I think it’s important to give a wide view of history and what it includes.
They even have a marker designating the divide between the Union and the Confederacy of the Civil War because Tennessee was the mid point between the two ideologies. Many of the defining battles that occurred during the war were fought here in Tennessee.
Continuing our walk we came to a giant fountain area that had a large geyser representing all the main rivers of the state. Sadly, the water was not on to see it in all its glory. There is also a large map of the state that takes up the entire plaza area. We enjoyed walking along the different roads finding our way to the places in the state we’ve been. In honor of the birthday celebrations the grass was filled with Tennessee flags.
We made our way up the swooping staircase on the hill towards the capital building. This building is a beautiful example of the Neoclassical architecture that was popular at the time. Surrounding the building you can find the burial site of the U.S. President James Polk and a larger than life statue of President Andrew Jackson all tucked away amid the blooming Magnolia trees.
Yesterday we celebrated Memorial Day, honoring those that gave their lives in the service of protecting our country. Just past the capital building was the Tennessee Military Museum building with a giant American flag hanging on the front of the building. Atop the arch of the building reads, “America is privileged to spend her blood and her might for the principles that gave her birth and happiness and the peace which she has treasured”. It gave a very powerful reminder of Memorial Day and honoring those who gave their life for our country.
We ended the day with a visit to the Nashville Farmers Market that holds local produce stands and also restaurants by the local up and coming. Located right next to the park, this was a great place to have lunch and we really want to go back there and try some of the other foods they offered.
It was such a great day exploring the Bicentennial Capital Mall. We decided this is somewhere we need to keep coming back to so we can go check out the state museum and the state library and more of the military museum that are all right next to the state capital. The best part of the day though was as the clock stuck the hour, the Tennessee Waltz was played over the speakers for all in the park to hear and dance along with.