Preview – Vienna: Empire, Dynasty and Dream

Vienna: Empire, Dynasty and Dream

The historian with possibly the poshest name in TV documentary making – Simon Sebag Montefiore – looks into the story of the Austrian capital.

Having previously presents in-depth documentaries about Rome and Istanbul in the past, Montefiore tells the 1,000 year long history of Vienna. The opening history starts with the rise of the Habsburg dynasty. It also looks at the history of religion in the city. First they defended Christianity from attack by the Ottoman Empire, and then they defended Catholicism from Protestant revolutionaries.

Later episodes look at how Vienna became the world’s cultural capital, producing many of the world’s great composers such as Mozart and Beethoven, then moving onto the fall of the Habsburgs, the assassination of Franz Ferdinand that triggered World War One, and the early life of then struggling artist Adolf Hitler.

Vienna: Empire, Dynasty and Dream is on BBC Four at 21.00.