Introduction: Kings of Europe: End of Empires (01:46)
This episode examines the last imperial dynasties in France, Russia, and Austria, and their architecture.
The Louvre: 1793-1821 (09:00)
The palace was the main residence for French monarchs until the 18th century. The museum's collection expanded after Napoleon became consul. He crowned himself emperor, expanded his empire, and attacked Russia; he was forced to retreat.
Cathedral of Christ the Saviour: 1839-1883 (07:04)
After Napoleon's defeat, the Kremlin was rebuilt and the cathedral commissioned. Stalin demolished the church, but it was reconstructed decades later. Russia's failure to modernize resulted in its defeat in the Crimean War.
City Redevelopment (02:32)
In Paris, George Haussmann replaced narrow streets with wide boulevards. In Vienna, Franz Joseph ordered the construction of the Ringstrasse; artistic and cultural life flourished.
Vienna Opera House: 1861-1868 (05:25)
The opera house was the first building completed on the Ringstrasse; the general public did not like its appearance. The entire nobility of the Habsburg Empire attended opening night in 1869.
Hungarian Parliament: 1885-1904 (06:44)
The Austrian army lost the Battle of Königgrätz and Franz Joseph reconciled with Hungary. Imre Steindl designed the parliament building; the Great Dome Hall housed the holy crown. World War I demolished the Habsburg Empire.
The Winter Palace: 1753-1917 (08:53)
Nicholas II redesigned one section of the opulent palace for family apartments. Unrest increased and the palace became the stage for significant events before the Russian Revolution.
Russian Revolution (05:24)
Losses in World War I, food shortages, and Nicholas II's imperial rule triggered revolution. Nicholas abdicated the throne and the Provisional Government took control. The Bolsheviks stormed the Winter Palace in 1917, usurping the government; the tsar and his family were executed.
Credits: Kings of Europe: End of Empires (00:41)
Credits: Kings of Europe: End of Empires
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