We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here

Vienna: Empire, Dynasty and Dream

Video clips are automatically supplied by broadcasters and distributors. RadioTimes.com is not responsible for the clip's contents.
S1-E1 The Hasburgs
Premiere

S1-E1 The Hasburgs

Thursday 9pm - 10pm BBC Four
See Repeats
Friday, 2:40am - 3:40am BBC Four
HD SUB WIDE AD
Watchlist
ADVERTISEMENT

Review

After learned peregrinations through Rome and Istanbul, panama-behatted historian Simon Sebag Montefiore turns his attention to that other great imperial city, Vienna, for what he describes as a story of “rollicking heroes and extreme bloodletting”. There’s no shortage of the latter in this first episode, as he describes the slaughter – of family rivals, opposing kings, Ottomans and Jews – that accompanied the early centuries of the Habsburg dynasty as they accumulated power and influence. But they were also good at marriage, and it wasn’t long before they controlled huge swathes of continental Europe as Holy Roman Emperors.

In case the parade of names threatens to dull the attention, Montefiore relishes the more gruesome aspects of the time, notably the savagery of the Thirty Years War, all the while wandering through elegant streets and ornate palaces. It sums up the schizophrenic nature of the period neatly.

Summary

Historian Simon Sebag Montefiore describes how the Habsburgs transformed Vienna into a multi-national city of music, culture, art and ideas. Simon explores the Habsburg's rise to power and discovers more about how Vienna marked Europe's front line in the struggle to defend both Christendom and the Catholic Church from revolutionaries who plotted to destroy them.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Simon Sebag Montefiore
Director Dominic Ozanne
Executive Producer Mike Smith
Producer Dominic Ozanne
Series Producer Richard Downes

Education

Have Your Say What did you think of The Hasburgs?

view all comments (0)