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Getting a picture taken while standing on the famous stage was a popular option after the tour.
The Ryman Auditorium
Closest available address
116 5th Ave North, Nashville, TN 37219
Tours generally run from 9:20-3:40, call to confirm before visiting.
Best time to visit
The Ryman Auditorium, a National Historic Landmark, is an entertainment venue in downtown Nashville. The hall became famous as the home of the Grand Ole Opry Country music show for three decades. The Ryman was expanded and modernized in 1994 and continues to serve as a music and entertainment facility today.
The Ryman was built in 1892 by Thomas Ryman for religious and civic purposes. It was initially named the Union Gospel Tabernacle and was renamed after Ryman in the early 1900s after his death. The Grand Ole Opry radio show moved here for its weekly broadcast in 1943. The show was based at the Ryman till 1974 when it moved to a larger venue. The Ryman is a modest building with a red brick exterior. It has two primary levels and can seat about 2,400 people. Performers at the Ryman have said its acoustics are among the best they have ever heard.
The Ryman tour lasted an hour. Pictures were allowed in the entrance area and in the auditorium but not in the dressing rooms, which was adorned with pictures of Country stars. The tour included stories of about famous performers such as Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton. There were interesting and humorous anecdotes on the tour that added some charm. The guide’s storytelling ability makes a big difference in the overall experience. While the hall is fairly mundane, if you visit on a clear day, the sun shining through the stained glass gives the hall a more colorful, impressive look. In the auditorium there was a good short film about the Ryman and which had interviews with Country music stars. There were also displays with historic outfits and collectibles. A popular option after the tour is to get a picture taken on the stage where so many performers have stood. Musical instruments were available to make the experience more authentic. Country music fans will value a visit here. For others, the Ryman will have average appeal, but if you want to learn about Country music, this is a key place.
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