Combining CGI and dramatic reconstructions with insight from history experts, “Empire Builders” reveals the story of extraordinary empires that are still shaping the way we live our lives today.
From the Romans to the Raj, the Ottomans to the Incas, great empires have come and gone through the ages; but all have left behind extraordinary legacies, monuments, inventions and innovations, that were so revolutionary they changed the course of history.
“Empire Builders” brings to life 10 great empires, each episode visiting the 10 most significant sites that defined their achievements and legacies; 100 historic sites in all, discovering how they were built, for what purpose, and what they reveal about empire’s rise and fall.
Empires examined in the series include:
Rising to prominence in North Africa along the fertile valley of the river Nile, ancient Egypt prospered and grew to become one of the world’s earliest and greatest civilisations. In this episode we travel through time to appreciate 3000 years of ancient Egyptian history through the amazing stories of ten of its most famous and spectacular buildings. It’s a journey of discovery that will take us to ancient Egypt’s greatest pyramids and obelisks, and its most magnificent temples and tombs.
In the seventh century, a great new religion was born and rose up in the deserts of what is now Saudi Arabia. Within 200 years, the religion had spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa, and then through the Moors into Southern Spain and Portugal. By the 13th century it had spread through the Ottomans into Eastern Europe, and by the 15th, through the Mughal’s to India. In this episode of Empire Builders, we explore ten sites that made history as we chart the rise and fall of these great Muslim empires.
In this episode of Empire Builders we explore 10 sites that made history. We visit Bryzantium’s greatest church, the Haghia Sophia in modern day Istanbul, the Crusaders’ greatest fortress, Krak de Chevalier in modern day Syria, and St Marks Basilica in Venice, a showcase of the Venetian Empire at its peak. Through these great sites, among others, we chart the rise and fall of the great Christian empires of Byzantium, the Crusades and Venice.
In this episode of Empire Builders we explore the historic legacy of three of Europe’s greatest powers – the French, Russian and Habsburg Empires – whose royal palaces, cathedrals and other great buildings of the 16th to 18th centuries are some of the world’s most remarkable and spectacular cultural monuments.
In this episode of Empire Builders we explore the last hurrah of Europe’s Imperial dynasties – in France, Russia, and the Austrian Habsburg empire – whose royal palaces, cathedrals and other great public buildings of the 18th and 19th centuries memorialise the dramatic final chapter of the rise and fall of Imperial Europe.
Britain’s empire was also one of conquest and credit; an empire based on money, on violence, and on the ability to employ large numbers of troops to fight. In this episode of Empire Builders, we explore 10 sites that made history, and chart the rise and fall of the British empire.
In this episode of Empire Builders we explore the remarkable history of one of the world’s most unique and diverse ancient cultures, Japan, travelling through time to explore the past 1500 years of Japan’s history through 10 of its most famous and spectacular buildings.
Until the 15th century Spain had not made it’s mark as an empire, instead being the object of conquest itself, first by the Romans and then by the Moslem Moors who both occupied much of the country for several hundred years. However, it was at this time that Spain’s monarchy produced a series of remarkably ambitious and powerful leaders.
From the Declaration of Independence at Independence Hall, through to tech solutions of Silicon Valley, America has shaped the world we live in – all the while shaping its own identity through the iconic buildings and structures that chart the nation’s history.
The Roman Empire was the most powerful economic, cultural, political and military force in the world of its time and became one of the largest empires in world history.
In this episode of Empire Builders we explore the remarkable history of one of the world’s greatest ancient civilisations, the Maya, travelling through the remote jungles of Central America to discover the extraordinary history of the grandest and most spectacular cities inhabited by the Maya.