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 monuments, inventions and innovations that changed the course of history. The six-part series EMPIRE BUILDERS covers the rise and fall of five great empires and the remaining monuments that symbolize the enduring achievements of these global powers. Each episode visits 10 significant sites, exploring how they were built, for what purpose, and what they reveal about the empire's place in history. Expert contributors and CGI recreations help create a vision of life as part of the empire and the ongoing legacies that affect today’s modern world.
"The Ancient Egyptians"
In this episode of EMPIRE BUILDERS, we travel back in time, across 3000 years of ancient Egyptian history told 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 magnificent temples and tombs.
"Moslem Empires: Ottomans, Mughals and Moors"
In this episode of EMPIRE BUILDERS, we explore ten historic sites that help us follow the rise and fall of the great Muslim empires. We visit sites such as the Dome of the Rock, in Jerusalem, and the great Mosque of Damascus, home of the Umayyad dynasty. We explore the Mezquita Mosque in Cordoba, Spain, arguably the greatest building in Moorish Spain; and, travel to Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, home of the Ottoman sultans for hundreds of years. In Iran, we visit the fabulous Shah Mosque. Now known as the Iman Mosque, it was built by the Ottomans' rivals, the Persian Safavids. In Agra, India, we explore the Taj Mahal, the greatest building constructed by the Mughal Empire's Shah Jahan.
"Christian Empires: Byzantium, the Crusades and Venice"
In this episode of EMPIRE BUILDERS, we explore ten sites that made history. In modern-day Istanbul, we visit Byzantium's greatest church, the Haghia Sophia; and, we see the Crusaders' greatest fortress, Crac de Chevalier in modern-day Syria. In Venice, St. Marks Basilica proves to be a showcase of the Venetian Empire at its peak. Together, through these great sites and others, we navigate the rise and fall of the great Christian empires of Byzantium, the Crusades and Venice.
"Kings of Europe Part 1 : France, The Habsburgs and the Russian Tsars"
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.
"Kings of Europe Part 2: End of Empires"
In this episode of EMPIRE BUILDERS, we explore the last hurrah of Europe's Imperial dynasties in France, Russia, and the Austrian Habsburg empire. We advance a decade or two, visiting 18th- and 19th- century royal palaces, cathedrals and other great public buildings which memorialize the dramatic final chapter of the rise and fall of Imperial Europe.
"The British Empire"
In this episode of EMPIRE BUILDERS, we explore ten sites that made history, and chart the rise and fall of the British Empire.