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Knoxville, Tennessee: The Torchbearer

Nine-foot-tall bronze statue of a young man holding a real, burning torch in his right hand and a diminutive Goddess of Victory in his left. His torch hand has occasionally exploded off when natural gas accumulates in his wrist.

Torchbearer Plaza, Knoxville, TN
On the campus of the University of Tennessee, at the intersection of Volunteer Blvd and Circle Park Drive. Parking is bad when school is in session.
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Visitor Tips and News About The Torchbearer

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The Torchbearer.

The Torchbearer

The Torchbearer.

[Michelle Resos, 08/12/2023]

Dusk seems ideal for capturing torch illumination of his itty bitty pal, the Goddess of Victory.


The Torchbearer

The Torchbearer is worth a stop if you're near campus. It looks quite lovely set against a very blue sky.

[Kristie Lee, 04/21/2020]


Eternal Torchbearer

Fun facts: there was an intermediate version of The Torchbearer that would have been 26 feet tall; the original artist lived long enough to design the final version; and the Torchbearer's hand occasionally explodes off when natural gas accumulates in his wrist.

[ Team, 08/09/2019]


Slim-Fit Eternal Torchbearer

The University of Tennessee has a nine-foot-tall statue on its campus -- the symbol of the university -- known as The Torchbearer. He was first envisioned in 1931 as a slightly older man with a bad haircut and a paunch, holding a lantern. Protests by faculty and students over the years forced a redesign, and it wasn't until 1968 that a bronze statue was finally unveiled. The new Torchbearer was younger and slimmer, and carried a natural gas torch instead of a lantern. The flame is supposed to be eternal, but occasionally it goes out during high winds or heavy snow.

[signmanjoe, 08/09/2019]

Nearby Offbeat Places

"Shake, Buddy!" Civil War Monument, Knoxville, TN - < 1 mi.
Hypnotic StairsHypnotic Stairs, Knoxville, TN - < 1 mi.
Doomed Rachmaninoff's Final ConcertDoomed Rachmaninoff's Final Concert, Knoxville, TN - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Blindshot Barnaby's Circus Golf, Gatlinburg, TN - 28 mi.

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