Season 3′s Most Fascinating Historic Icons

Posted by on May 8, 2013 | One Comment

There were many history makers to choose from this season. Here are our top 5 incredible icons of season 3!

Lord Horatio Nelson

We tackled the mystery behind the death of one of England’s most iconic historical figures on our episode, Inside the National Maritime Museum, London. Lord Nelson died at the Battle of Trafalgar on October 21, 1805 when he was shot in the chest by a French marksman. This episode used a CSI-Mythbusters methodology to recreate the conditions and the exact moment of Nelson’s death. It was a fascinating episode and we had fun filming it.

Our producer, and London native, Rebecca Snow shares her experiences filming this episode and we get a behind the scenes snippet and close-up look at Lord Nelson’s jacket with the musket hole where the bullet that felled him entered.

Ivan the Terrible

Another great icon, this time from sixteenth century Russia: Ivan the Terrible. Ivan’s infamy is well documented. He was capable of great cruelty and violence, yet, also renowned for his patronage of the arts, piety and diplomatic intelligence. Ivan was a complex man and depending on who you talk to, his reputation will swing wildly from great to grim. In this episode, we examined Ivan’s notorious reign and his obsession with the salvation of his soul. In this behind the scenes segment, our director Victor Kushmaniuk explored some of the objects housed at the State Historical Museum in Moscow, one being Ivan the Terrible’s hair shirt. Hair shirts were worn as a form of penitence and Ivan was well known for his devout religious beliefs. Victor dons a hair shirt and tells us what the experience is like. Ivan’s reputation made it hard for us not to stay glued to our screens for this episode.

The Medici Cold Case

The Medici’s – Florence’s infamous family made our short list for the fascinating story behind the murder of Francesco de Medici and his contribution to Florentine art. The Medici family, plagued by intrigue and plots, were also incredible benefactors of the arts. For all their drama and scheming, Florence is indebted to their artistic patronage. Francesco, in keeping with family tradition, commissioned the creation of the beautiful Grotto of Buontalenti. It demonstrates the spectacular merging of art and nature. Francesco and his wife, Bianca, fell ill and died on the same day. We delved into this four hundred year old cold case in our episode, Inside the Uffizi Gallery to determine whether Francesco, a known dabbler of alchemy, was poisoned or died of Malaria. The intrigue and the gorgeous Grotto made this one of our favourite segments of season three.

Who was the real Marie Antoinette?

Love her or hate her, her name still captivates and grabs our attention. Marie Antoinette was a popular target of public discontent in her day and is still often a victim of modern disdain. Marie’s life was the subject of one of our segments on: Inside the Chateau of Versailles. Her notoriety and bad reputation make her one of our list favourites for season three. Marie is often thought of as a ditzy and uncaring woman of excess. We revisited her life in this episode.

Adolf Hitler and Florence’s Ponte Vecchio

Last, was a fascinating segment on Hitler and the bridges of Florence featured in our episode: Inside the Uffizi Gallery. When Hitler bombed Florence in August, 1944, he left one bridge standing – The Ponte Vecchio – Why? That was our Museum Secret which touched on a recent period in history and an intriguing story. Did Hitler spare the bridges because of the priceless art inside? Hitler was a known patron of the arts and rumour has it that he spared the Ponte Vecchio from meeting the same fate as the other bridges over the Arno river as a result. Hitler’s insistence on saving the Ponte Vecchio may have backfired as it was also used a means to deliver food by the Allies to the city’s starving inhabitants during WWII.

1 comment

  1. Judy Laaper
    May 16, 2013

    I think you should have biographies on your history channel. Albert Einstein, Marie Antoinette, Louis XVI and so on. but NO Angelina Jolie, or Britney Soears. Biographies of people who change and shaped the world. Thank you, Judy Laaper.