another highlight from our nashville tourist extravaganza was the ryman auditorium. the ryman auditorium (formerly grand ole opry house and union gospel tabernacle) is a 2,362-seat live performance venue and is best known as the most famous home of the grand ole opry.
it was used for grand ole opry broadcasts from 1943 until 1974, when the opry built a larger venue just outside nashville at the opryland USA theme park. in 1992, emmylou harris and her band, the nash ramblers, performed a series of concerts at the ryman. these concerts renewed interest in restoring the ryman and it was reopened as an intimate performance venue and museum in 1994.
when you walk into the ryman, you find yourself among the pews, staring at a grand wooden stage. it's almost as if you have gone back in time. sitting in the pews at the ryman is a reminder of the auditorium's origins as a house of worship, hence giving it the nickname "the mother church of country music".
ryman auditorium was included in the national register of historic places in 1971, and was further designated a national historic landmark in 2001.