The Ryman Auditorium

Nashville, Tennessee.

One very important thing you need to do while you're in Nashville is visit the Ryman Auditorium. The Ryman is known as the Mother Church of Country Music.

A Little History: Originally, the Ryman was a Church known as Union Gospel Tabernacle. After Tom Ryman, head of construction of the Ryman, passed away, Reverend Sam Jones renamed the tabernacle to Ryman Auditorium in honor of Tom Ryman. From there, the Ryman began to host shows and speeches. In 1943, the Grand Ole Opry moved to the Ryman. The Grand Ole Opry was held at the Ryman for 31 years before moving to its new location at the Grand Ole Opry House at Opryland USA. The Ryman would be closing as there was a lot of wear and tear on the building from over the years. However, since the Ryman meant so much to the city of Nashville, money was donated to restore the Ryman.

To this day, the Ryman continues to hold shows. At the end of the year, the Grand Ole Opry returns to the Ryman as there are Christmas shows happening at the Opry House. I was lucky to time my trip to Nashville at the right time and was able to see the Grand Ole Opry live from the Ryman stage. However, if I had realized that it was the 90th year of the Grand Ole Opry, I could have attended the Opry on it's actual anniversary - which was the day after I attended {insert facepalm}.

Not only should you go to the Ryman Auditorium for shows, but go to tour the Ryman Auditorium as well! There are self-guided tours and group tours. I chose the self-guided tour. You begin by watching a video regarding the history of the Ryman, then follow your map to each station. If production is not setting the stage up for a show later that night, you're able to have your picture taken on the Ryman stage. I was thankful I could take a picture on the stage and the Grand Ole Opry stage was set up.

One of my favorite things about the Ryman were the stained glass windows. I thought they were so gorgeous. I personally loved walking around the Ryman Auditorium during the tour and taking it all in. I'm a country music fan, so I enjoyed the history of the building and seeing where so much history took place.

Have you been to the Ryman Auditorium? What was your favorite part?