Classical historian Dr Michael Scott goes on an extraordinary journey through the often-invisible treasures of one of the greatest ancient cities in the world - Istanbul.
Classical historian Dr Michael Scott takes us on an extraordinary journey through the often-invisible treasures of one of the greatest ancient cities in the world - Istanbul. The city has been at the crossroads of Europe and Asia for over two and a half millennia. From the Greeks and Romans through the Ottomans to the Turks, Istanbul has been fought over, destroyed and rebuilt time after time.
First Michael brings the city's tumultuous history alive in one iconic building - the Hagia Sophia. Built by the Romans, this Christian Cathedral has survived earthquakes, riots, sieges and conquest to become a mosque and now a museum. As Michael explores, he reveals the ingenious solutions that enabled this awe-inspiring church to survive 1,500 years of turmoil. As Istanbul, once known as Constantinople, was built by Emperor Constantine to outdo Rome itself, Michael goes in search of the mighty city the emperor built - Constantinople. Michael discovers that Istanbul is built upon layer upon layer of history and culture, one era's buildings erected on top of the other. With the help of local archaeologists and experts, Michael delves into some surprising spaces, such as the once enormous Hippodrome. It began as a stadium for chariot racing but its foundations were later converted into a huge water cistern to supply the Emperor's Great Palace. Michael wades through its foul-smelling water to uncover the Hippodrome's secrets.
With many of the city's most extraordinary places concealed, out of sight or underground, we turn to the latest 3D-imaging technology to reveal them. Our scanning team help us to see the city as no human eye ever could, peeling back the layers of history, showing how the city has had to reinvent itself over and over through its turbulent past.
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