Ryman Auditorium

Take a Self-Guided Tour of the Ryman Auditorium

Reserve your admission tickets to the Ryman Auditorium's several star-studded exhibits.

Welcome to the Mother Church of Country Music 

The Ryman Auditorium goes by many names. You may also know it as the Grand Ole Opry House or even its original name, Union Gospel Tabernacle. But no matter the name, everyone knows about one of the most revered music venues in the U.S.

It’s no coincidence that the venue is also known as the Mother Church of Country Music: the Ryman Auditorium – originally known as the Union Gospel Tabernacle when it was built in 1892 – was with the intent to host evangelist gospel meetings.

From 1943 to 1974, Ryman Auditorium was home to the Grand Ole Opry, America’s longest-running radio show. Eventually, the radio show became so popular that thousands of people started flocking to Nashville for the weekly live tapings. After having to move venues to meet demand, the Ryman Auditorium was the best place to cater to the masses of country music fans.

But nothing ever lasts forever. Relocating the ever-popular Grand Ole Opry to their own venue in 1974 did not do the Ryman Auditorium much good. The building stood vacant for several years, and eventually fell so much into disrepair, that is was even about to be demolished for a short period time.

Its reputation and the connection Nashville residents felt to the cultural institution ultimately saved the building and breathed new life into it with a major renovation efforts in the 1990s.

But if you think that the Ryman Auditorium is just for country music, then you’re way off the mark. Singers and songwriters from all walks of life perform in the hallowed halls of Nashville. Even Elvis once took to the most famous stage in the States, as have more recent acts like the Pixies and Kings of Leon.

In 2001 the building was included in the long list of National Historic Landmarks.

History & Exhibits on Display

Today, the Ryman Auditorium can also be visited outside of events and offers interesting insights into the history of the Grand Ole Opry in five different star-studded exhibitions.

Among the items on display is the Dolly Parton dress that the country icon wore when she was admitted to the Opry. But rock music also has its own exhibition in the Ryman: Among other things, Elvis Presley will also have its own exhibition in honor – the world star only had a brief guest performance, but was remembered forever. Exhibitions about the Foo Fighters might also be interesting for the younger guests.


If you’re into music (especially country music) then Nashville is your place to be! Right next door are other music-historical institutions that are more than worth a visit. For example, the Johnny Cash Museum, which, you guessed it, is dedicated to the legendary musician of the same name.

Right next door to the Grand Ole Opry House you will also find the National Museum of African American Music and the Country Music Hall of Fame.

116 5th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37219

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