Rome’s Hidden Empire

Get to the bottom of the world’s great cities – literally! In every major metropolis skyscrapers loom above, taxis and vendors clamor at street level, and subways rumble below. But deeper beneath the hectic surface lie other, silent worlds, each with its own mysterious and fascinating history. Sink into subterranean discovery lead by intrepid explorers Eric Geller and Don Wildman. With each step below street level you travel back decades, even centuries, into the fascinating past of the world’s great cities. What mysteries await discovery in the dark corners of these subterranean realms? This is the stuff of fantasy exploring secret chambers and forbidden passages beneath city streets, unlocking mysteries of the past and discovering forgotten relics. This is Cities of the Underworld. With infectious enthusiasm and runaway curiosity, and aided by instructive computer animations and graphic maps, hosts Eric Geller and Don Wildman explore hundreds of feet below grade to transport you underground and back in time. Gain complete access to fascinating, off limits, surprising, and unknown sites that millions walk over every day. Learn the histories of cities and civilizations without ever seeing daylight. From the comfort of your sofa watch Eric and Don creep on their bellies and wade through human waste. From secret meeting halls and dungeons to the footings of modern civilization itself they explore vaults, chambers and catacombs to bring the past alive.
Season 1
Episode 1 Istanbul, Turkey – There is a well-known cistern beneath the city, but other treasures are also down there. Locals know this, but if the authorities hear of these and find antiquities there, the structures above become the property of the state. As a result, residents could lose their homes and businesses. Still, the crew found a shop owner who let them in. You walk through the shop and you go down, and you are all of a sudden in this maze of the underground level of Constantine’s great palace.
Episode 2 Scotland’s Sin City Edinburgh, Scotland – The wealthy built upward, creating the world’s first high-rises while the poor lived in the dark and narrow passages, called “closes” that turned into a river of sewage whenever it rained. Disease eventually caused the city planners to cover over the closes. As time went on, residents found darker uses for the abandoned spaces and, the series hints, there is even a legend that the Holy Grail is hidden somewhere inside the labyrinth.
Episode 3 Hitler’s Underground Lair Berlin, Germany – Go beneath the streets of Berlin and unearth the remains of the Nazi bunkers. Berlin is a city with a long and complicated past. Host Eric Geller takes the viewer on a journey below the modern city of Berlin to reveal Hitler’s subterranean world of bunkers, breweries and Nazi mystery. Originally broadcast as a segment of the television program: Ancient marvels.
Episode 4 Rome’s Hidden Empire Rome, Italy – Eric Geller, with the help of experts on Roman history, archeology, and architecture, explores the ruins that lie beneath the city of Rome. He focuses on a pagan temple devoted to the worship of Mitheras, an ancient apartment building known as the Vicus, Domitian’s stadium, the functions and buildings belonging to the Basilica; Roman contributions to architecture, and Caesar Augustus’ efforts to build and staff fire stations, provide law enforcement, and deal with the problems created by pollution and mistreatment of the environment.
Episode 5 Catacombs of Death, Paris, France – Many call Paris the most beautiful city in the world, but its past is one of the bloodiest and most macabre in history. While the dead tell no tales, Eric Geller has a lot to say about their hidden underground realm. And a lot to discover as he explores the eerie, millennia-old secret tunnels and crypts below the streets of Paris.
Episode 6 City of Caves Budapest, Hungary – Exploring caves beneath Budapest, Hungary. Included an underground World War II hospital.
Episode 7 New York – Explore beneath New York City, a living, breathing complex of engineering, history and secrets that could only exist in America’s largest city.
Episode 8 London’s Lost Cities – For thousands of years London has been among the most powerful cities in the world, below the busy streets and marketplaces another city hides, a city of Roman baths, secret crypts, lost rivers and indestructible bunkers that could hold up to 8,000 people.
Episode 9 Beneath Vesuvius Naples, Italy – Naples narrowly escaped meeting the same fate as its neighboring city, Pompeii in 79 A.D. when Mount Vesuvius wiped out everything around it. The wind saved Naples that day, but life in the shadow of this massive volcano is unlike any other, and so is its underground.
Episode 10 Freemason Underground Boston Philadelphia and Concord – Discover the fascinating and unknown history that lies below major cities around the world today. Explore these layers, which are often hundreds of feet deep. Discover everything form dank dungeons to underground shipwrecks that have been lost for centuries.
Episode 11 Dracula’s Underground Bucharest, Romania – Visit the city of Bucharest and learn about its most famous citizen, Vlad the Impaler, more commonly known as Dracula. Travel underground as secret prisons, caves and dungeons are revealed. Only through the bleak subterranean stretches can one come face to face with the truth about this infamous Romanian ruler.
Episode 12 Secret Pagan Underground Cappadocia, Turkey – 4000 years ago, a mysterious pagan society called the Hittites dug deep into the soft volcanic rock to carve out an intricate underworld. But after almost 800 years of rule, the Hittite Empire vanished without a trace. Where did their people go and what clues have they left behind in their complex subterranean world?
Episode 13 Underground Bootleggers Portland, Oregon – 100 years ago Portland, Oregon was a city full of vice, considered the most dangerous port in the world. It was a place where you could get drugs or booze or wake up trapped in a cell beneath the earth.
Episode 14 Rome The Rise – What was the secret to the success of ancient Rome? Aqueducts, underground neighborhoods and one of the oldest sewer systems reveal many secrets. The largest and most influential empire in history leaves clues to her greatness under nearly every street.