CAN’T TAKE YOUR STUDENTS TO GREECE?
VISIT “ALABAMA’S LITTLE CORNER OF GREECE”
09/01/2014 | Jasmine Hill Gardens and Outdoor Museum
Teachers from all over the southeast are discovering that Jasmine Hill Gardens and Outdoor Museum located near Montgomery, Alabama, makes Greek and Roman studies come alive for their students. Although the garden was founded in 1928, extensive changes were made prior to the Olympic Flame coming to Jasmine Hill in 1996 on its way to the Atlanta Olympic Games.
The new visitor center, for example, has a front façade featuring the world’s only full scale recreation of the Olympic Temple of Hera as it existed at the time of the first Olympics in 776 B.C. Inside the gardens, the world’s only full scale reproduction of the ruins of the Temple of Hera where the Olympic Flame is started in Greece always delights visitors.
Statuary is featured along the winding stone walkways of the 20-acre gardens among seasonal flowers and fountains. Examples of ancient Greek statuary show the progression of art from the stiff archaic period to the larger-than-life classical era and then the Hellenistic period with its flowing gowns and realism. Most of the statues are exact copies of originals found in the famous museums of Greece and Italy. Other statuary depicts figures from mythology and Greek/Roman history.
Experienced guides make the ancient philosophers, gods and goddesses come alive. Students are brought into discussions and often delight the guides with their knowledge. Some schools even plan a day of activities including mock Olympic opening ceremonies and games from the early Olympics such as hopsack and foot races. Others study the fascinating stories from Greek mythology and let students write their own stage plays to be performed while wearing costumes made by the students themselves. Jasmine Hill can provide a teacher guide including a scavenger hunt that makes students search for certain items found within the gardens. Picnic tables are available for those wanting to bring lunch.
The gardens are open for student groups all year with advance reservations. For reservations call 334-263-5713. Additional information can be obtained from the website www.jasminehill.org. Bus parking is available at the entrance. A guided tour normally takes about one and one-half hours. Located on Jasmine Hill Road off U.S. Highway 231 North of Montgomery, Alabama, or 3001 Jasmine Hill Road, Wetumpka, Alabama 36093.
Jasmine Hill is owned and operated by Jasmine Hill Foundation, a non-profit organization.
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