Modern Marvels celebrates the ingenuity, invention and imagination found in the world around us. This series tells fascinating stories of the doers, the dreamers and sometime schemers that create everyday items, technological breakthroughs and manmade wonders. The hit series goes deep to explore the leading edge of human inspiration and ambition. Episode The Golden Gate Bridge – The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the foremost man, made tourist attractions in the United States. But at one time, critics said it could never be built. From the start, the project looked impossible. Yet engineer Joseph B. Strauss’ plans proved to be a masterpiece of design and function. In four years, the longest, highest, most spectacular suspension bridge on earth opened to the public, and became one of the greatest symbols of American ingenuity.
Certain landmarks have captured the imagination and awe of modern architects and engineers around the world as they work to solve the mystery of how their ancient forebears were able to construct such beautiful, timeless and revolutionary structures with none of the machines and materials available to modern engineers. Episode Hagia Sophia – We peel back the layers of this great church of Hagia Sophia to reveal its engineering secrets,and bring to life the story of its construction.
A three part series from the Discovery civilization channel, all about the Tower of London. This is the story of the tower of London, past and present. With unique access to the tower, this series will unlock its private, as well as public life. Revealing the hidden history of well known stories, and uncovering forgotten tower secrets. More than anywhere else in Britain these building have stood at the heart of history for over 900 years. The truth of what happened here is still being discovered. From executions with block and axe, to spies shot in the first world war, it has prisoners as familiar is queen Elizabeth the first, and as recent as World War Two u-boat men. Episode 1 Fortress With unique access behind the walls and locked doors of the Tower of London, discover how it stayed at the cutting edge of military technology.
The history of Britain and the aspirations of her Christian communities can be traced in the glorious excesses of the cathedrals. From Norman grandeur to the modern interpretations found in Liverpool and Coventry, explore the changing styles of the cathedrals in our midst. A 5 part series that takes a looks at the ingenuity behind the construction of Britain’s most famous cathedrals, using CGI and reconstructions to describe the dramatic stories of riot, fire, war, murder, and flood that shaped the history of these impressive masterpieces. Flood at Winchester – Home of England’s first Kings, Winchester cathedral stood for a thousand years as a proud symbol of national identity. But in the early 1900s it faced total destruction when it was discovered that the building was literally sinking into the swamp on which it had been constructed. This ancient architectural gem owes its survival to the bravery, ingenuity and endurance of one man, working diver William Robert Walker, who put his life on the line to save a piece of England’s history. This is the extraordinary story of the cathedral that began to sink and of the incredible underwater adventure that was launched to save it.
Modern Marvels celebrates the ingenuity, invention and imagination found in the world around us. This series tells fascinating stories of the doers, the dreamers and sometime schemers that create everyday items, technological breakthroughs and man made wonders. Episode Tower Bridge – Bruce Nash and Christoph Ritter take the helm in this documentary glimpse at London’s Tower Bridge, the iconic connected towers that have dominated the Thames since 1887. Archival footage of the building process and the bridge’s evolution over the years lends fascinating historical detail to a fixture of the London skyline.
Certain landmarks have captured the imagination and awe of modern architects and engineers around the world as they work to solve the mystery of how their ancient forebears were able to construct such beautiful, timeless and revolutionary structures with none of the machines and materials available to modern engineers. Episode Petra – a precious stone, lost in the Arabian desert, one of the most mysterious of ancient cities. At the entrance to the city rises a masterpiece of architecture El Hazne. Today researchers are still stunning architectural monuments behind El Hazne and traces of the people of the desert, created the city.
Documentary of an underwater archeological expedition led by French explorer Franck Goddio that explores the sunken ancient city of Alexandria, Egypt, where Cleopatra made her home over 2,000 years ago. The underwater exploration team uses advanced scientific methods to locate the remains of Cleopatra’s sunken palace as well as the entire submerged Royal Quarters in the harbor of modern Alexandria. Also uses reenactments, computer graphics and animation to present a picture of Cleopatra’s life in ancient Alexandria.
Hitler’s Henchmen and Hitler’s Warriors paints portraits of the men who consolidated Hitler’s reign and turned his plans into action. They wove the complicities and plots without which Hitler could have never perpetrated the crime of the century. They helped to sway the judges and the bureaucrats, the armed forces and the police, the students and their teachers to the regime’s ways of thinking. What kind of people were they? What inspired them to serve a corrupt administration with such enthusiasm and devotion? How did their careers unfold and their fates end?
Mysteries of Asia, produced for The Learning Channel, explores historical fact and theory surrounding some of the oldest structures in Asia. New footage of the areas under examination is complemented by film clips and animated maps, narrated by Michael Bell. Episode Jewels in the Jungle – The ancient Khmer temples of Cambodia, much of whose history is undocumented. This program examines the unusual mix of Hindu and Buddhist religious figures among the temples and gates built by the Khmer, and examines the walled city of Angkor in some detail. Cambodia’s bloody recent history under Pol Pot is also discussed, and the program celebrates the survival of the ancient dances of Angkor, the only remaining cultural link to the distant past.
Certain landmarks have captured the imagination and awe of modern architects and engineers around the world as they work to solve the mystery of how their ancient forebears were able to construct such beautiful, timeless and revolutionary structures with none of the machines and materials available to modern engineers. Episode St Pauls Cathedral – In 1666, in London, thousands of people fleeing the fire, devouring the great cathedral. Fire destroys this monumental architecture. But the new miracle of architecture rises from the ashes and will rise above one of the richest cities in the world.
What really went on at the ancient Greek oracle at Delphi, how did it get its awesome reputation and why is it still influential today? Michael Scott of Cambridge University uncovers the secrets of the most famous oracle in the ancient world. The programme investigates the oracular sanctuary of Delphi in ancient Greece and asks how it managed to survive as the omphalos, the bellybutton, of the ancient world for over 1000 years and what Delphi still has to say to us today. The programme examines not just the activity of the oracle at Delphi, but the stories of the many other gods, athletic games, monuments to unity and civil war that populated the sanctuary, showing how Delphi evolved to reflect and affect the changing world around it. With locations ranging from the grandeur of Delphi to caves in the Parnassian mountains, from the glory of Athens to the cosmopolitan city of Istanbul, and with contributions from French, British and Greek archaeologists, this documentary helps unravel the mystery of the place. A vital force in ancient history for a thousand years, it is now one of Greece’s most beautiful tourist sites, but in its time it has been a gateway into the supernatural, a cockpit of political conflict, and a beacon for internationalism. And at its heart was the famous inscription which still inspires visitors today – “Know Thyself”.
Dig into the sands of time with this exploration into lost civilizations. Scientists, archaeologists, and historians alike search for evidence of cities that may have forever been lost to time. Some are ancient while some are surprisingly recent. Extensive archaeological research and cutting edge visual technology come together in this series that aims to bring ancient cultures and civilizations to new life on screen. Episode 6 Athens Ancient Supercity – In the 5th century B.C., one man led his city to greatness and paved the way for western civilization. The city was Athens and Pericles was not a king or prince, but an elected ruler. He directed the most costly and ambitious construction campaign undertaken in the western world, creating a model city of temples, houses, market places, civic buildings, and a highly innovative sanitation system. Despite Athens’ extraordinary influence and importance, Pericles’ plan led to his, and the city’s, downfall.
For hundreds of years, the world has watched in amazement as the building defies gravity, teetering on a razor’s edge. It really is quite miraculous that it has not fallen over. And thank goodness it hasn’t. If the Tower were to fall no one would feel it more than the people of Pisa. For 800 years architects and engineers have been trying to fix the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Nearly every attempt has been disastrous. It’s lean is so extreme that the Italian government has closed it to avoid a potential disaster. It’s been more than ten years since anyone has walked up its marble stairway. Take a behind the scenes look inside the Tower that’s been locked off to the public for so long and climb to the top for a rare view of its breathtaking vistas. Examine the bizarre history of the 800 year effort to save the Tower and the current plan that some believe just may make the Tower safe forever, that is if it doesn’t destroy it first.
Certain landmarks have captured the imagination and awe of modern architects and engineers around the world as they work to solve the mystery of how their ancient forebears were able to construct such beautiful, timeless and revolutionary structures with none of the machines and materials available to modern engineers. Episode The Alhambra – The Alhambra is the greatest example of Islamic military architecture in Europe. But just how did they construct such an impregnable fortress? In the Andalusian mountains of southern Spain, rises the majestic fort, which became a legend, Alhambra. This ancient citadel overlooks Granada. On the construction of its 37 towers and walls of the powerful took more than 150 years, but the Alhambra – it’s not only an impregnable fortress, this magnificent palace, with elegant courtyards and unfolded the bloody scene where the intrigue and the most famous of the surviving monuments of Muslim architecture in the western world.
Explores how and why the seven wonders of this incredible civilisation still retain the power to amaze the world today. From prehistoric palaces to bold symbols of victory, explore the seven ancient wonders that stir spectators to this day: the Theatre of Epidaurus, the statue of Zeus at Olympia, Apollo’s Temple at Delphi, the Colossus of Rhodes, the settlement at Santorini, the Palace of Knossos and surely the greatest masterpiece of them all, the Parthenon. Learn how such impressive displays of engineering were managed in a time when technology was still in its infancy. Engineers and architectural experts detail the unique structural aspects that make each monument so “wonder-ful,” while historians describe each wonder’s powerful role in ancient Greek life.
Dig into the sands of time with this exploration into lost civilizations. Scientists, archaeologists, and historians alike search for evidence of cities that may have forever been lost to time. Some are ancient while some are surprisingly recent. Extensive archaeological research and cutting edge visual technology come together in this series that aims to bring ancient cultures and civilizations to new life on screen. Episode 3 The First Christians – In the aftermath of Jesus’ crucifixion, only a hundred or so of his followers survived. But within a few decades, Christianity had spread around the Mediterranean and across the Roman Empire. This episode draws on the expertise of a team of field investigators using the latest research, expert analysis, and cutting edge graphic technology to return to the earliest years of Christianity. From the port of Tarsus, where St. Paul was born, the program follows the systems of trade and transport that helped him travel 20,000 miles.
In the series, nova crews attempt to ferret out long forgotten secrets of early architects and engineers. How did they design and erect the medieval war machines known as trebuchets? Egyptian obelisks? The Easter Island stone monoliths called moais? Roman baths? The rainbow bridges of ancient China? China Bridge – The ancient Chinese relied on bamboo, one of nature’s most versatile building materials, to lash together their famous rainbow bridges. In this section, learn more about this amazing plant and about China’s most noteworthy inventions, including paper money, gunpowder, and the compass. Also, play an interactive game that challenges you to use the right bridge type to span a span.
This series celebrates the astonishing influence of Spain on European art. Presenter Andrew Graham-Dixon immerses himself in true Spanish culture and meets the people who live and work with this artistic legacy. Episode 1 The Moorish South – In an exploration of Moorish Spain, he looks at Muslim political and cultural influence as he travels from Cordoba to Granada, seeing classic buildings such as the Great Mosque in Cordoba, the Alcazar in Seville and the Alhambra in Granada. He also shows how the Moors introduced new foods including citrus fruits, coffee and spices to Spain.
The great cathedrals were the wonders of the medieval world. Many were the tallest structures on earth, the highest buildings created since the pyramids and until the Eiffel Tower, yet they were built without any of the technological aids of the modern world and with little more than set-squares and dividers, ropes and pulleys, hammers and chisels. The vision was to create a sense of heaven on earth and the medieval cathedral aspired to be nothing less than “the new Jerusalem”. Spectacular effects were achieved as this ambition was realised, leading to a revolution in design and a golden age for cathedral architecture in England. Who were the people who built them? What drove them? And just how were they able to build with such stupendous skill, vision and ambition? Architectural historian Jon Cannon, author of the recent, acclaimed Cathedral, goes in search of the clues that shed light on how our medieval forebears were able to realise such bold ambition. From the fan vaulting at Gloucester to the stained glass at York, from the solid mass of Norwich to the soaring elegance of the Octagon at Ely, Jon climbs up above the stone vaulted ceilings, along the parapets, through the roof voids and down into the crypts of the greatest cathedrals to find out how, and why, it was done.
In the series, nova crews attempt to ferret out long forgotten secrets of early architects and engineers. How did they design and erect the medieval war machines known as trebuchets? Egyptian obelisks? The Easter Island stone monoliths called moais? Roman baths? The rainbow bridges of ancient China? Roman Bath – The plumbing that brought hot water to the communal baths the Romans enjoyed was highly sophisticated. In this section, watch as nova builds its own Roman bath, then try your hand at constructing a working aqueduct online. Also, learn about the Romans’ water system from a noted scholar, and get a taste of Roman era recipes such as scaloppine pine nut sauce.
They were built by the ancients in the time before Christ to a scale that is unbelievable. They dared their creators to push engineering to new heights which still astound us today. Architecture and sculpture continue to stand in the shadow of their genius. Now by revealing the secrets of the past we can unlock the mysteries of their construction which earn them the highest distinction as the seven wonders of the ancient world. Episode 1 Artemis, Mausoleum and Zeus – Temple of Artemis at Ephesus – The first cranes were used to construct the world’s largest marble temple. It was supported by a forest of fluted columns, 60 feet high. How were the ancients able to achieve such detail while working on an such enormous scale? Mausoleum at Halicarnassus – The most extraordinary building every constructed, it stood the height of a 14 story building, and was covered with statues it has left the word mausoleum. Its style has been copied all over the world from Washington D.C. to the shrine of remembrance in Melbourne, Australia. Statue of Zeus at Olympia – The sculpture who created it used a secret recipe to shape the ivory. But how did he achieve such realism? The originality of it’s design has inspired artists and sculptors to copy it throughout the centuries.
Megastructures: Built from Disaster explores how accidents throughout the world have influenced the evolution of modern structural engineering. Bridges Episode 1 – On 2 August 2007, during a busy rush hour in the city of Minneapolis in the American midwest, the entire span of an interstate bridge broke into pieces and collapsed into the Mississippi River. Tragically, 13 people lost their lives in the ensuing carnage. The incident was caught live on CCTV, and the horrifying images sent shock waves around the world. The nation was sent into a state of panic. How could this appalling calamity have occurred?
The period of over 125 years from the beginning of the 19th century saw the creation of some of the world’s most remarkable feats of engineering. Seven of the most notable are described here, each one proving that human creativity is as much alive in the modern world as it was in ancient times. Episode 2 The Brooklyn Bridge – John Roebling from Germany, won the contract to build the largest bridge in the world, the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. It was to stretch 1,600 feet, in one giant leap, across the wide and turbulent East River that separates New York from Brooklyn. At the time such a bold design seemed almost miraculous, and all to be built out of a new material, steel.
They were built by the ancients in the time before Christ to a scale that is unbelievable. They dared their creators to push engineering to new heights which still astound us today. Architecture and sculpture continue to stand in the shadow of their genius. Now by revealing the secrets of the past we can unlock the mysteries of their construction which earn them the highest distinction as the seven wonders of the ancient world. Episode 2 Pyramid, Gardens, Rhodes and Lighthouse – The rough appearance of the great pyramid masks the precision of its construction it remains the most accurately built stone structure on earth. With only geometry and rope to help them it is baffling how they created a perfect square. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were built high above ground displaying their color in a middle of a desert. The ancient gardeners had a great knowledge of horticulture but what plants were they able to grow in the hanging gardens? Some scholars doubt whether they could have existed at all. The Island of Rhodes was attacked by Antigones, against all odds the Rhodians defeated Antigones and his huge fleet and celebrated by building a giant bronze statue of their savior, the sun god Helios, the Collosus of Rhodes. The last of the seven ancient wonders was built in Alexandria it was the worlds first metropolis and its world wonder, the Pharos, was the first skyscraper. it was a lighthouse standing over 400 feet high and it expressed the power, control and prestige of the Ptolemic dynasty.
Megastructures: Built from Disaster explores how accidents throughout the world have influenced the evolution of modern structural engineering. Episode 3 Tunnels – the word evokes mystery, adventure and claustrophobia. They make mountains manageable, connect our cities and can even bring together continents. But every tunnel is an enclosed space – a very dangerous place to be if something goes wrong. This episode looks at how recent catastrophes at the Channel Tunnel, Mont Blanc and Gotthard Tunnels of Europe spawned a revolution in tunnel building technology that is still evolving today. From failsafe evacuation systems through fireproof concrete and radical new approaches to tunnel design itself this programme will see how new tunnel projects are using high tech to keep alive if the worst happens. At the core of the programme is the cutting-edge Marmaray Tunnel in Turkey – this US 4 billion project will connect Europe and Asia with a dual bore rail tunnel running under the Bosphorous Straits. But there is a problem, the Anatolian Fault Line lies 11 miles from the site.