Around the World In 80 Treasures

Architectural historian Dan Cruickshank embarks on a five-month, 34-country world tour visiting his choices of the 80 greatest buildings, artworks and other man-made treasures that define civilizations around the world. His eclectic list includes the Parthenon in Athens, Machu Picchu in Peru, King Tut's burial mask, the Taj Mahal, a samurai sword and even a Volkswagen Beetle.

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  • Bosnia to France to Home
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    December 14, 2007

    The rebuilt bridge in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina spans the Christian and Muslim worlds. Dan Cruickshank visits the Parthenon in Athens and the Pantheon in Rome, the Florentine chapel of the Medici princes, the Alhambra and Chartres Cathedral. And Dan reflects on his journey.

  • Turkey to Germany
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    December 7, 2007

    Dan Cruickshank floats above Turkey in a hot-air balloon before exploring its subterranean caves. He travels the Moscow metro and salvages something from the wreckage of Nazi Germany.

  • Mali to Egypt
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    November 30, 2007

    Dan Cruickshank braves the Sahara Desert to see the breathtaking circumcision paintings of the Dogon. In Egypt he survives a power cut deepĀ inside the Great Pyramid. In Libya he identifies with Lawrence of Arabia rather than Colonel Gaddafi.

  • Jordan to Ethiopia
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    November 23, 2007

    Dan Cruickshank rides a donkey along a precipitous gorge to reach the city of Petra in Jordan, faces a Guardian Monk and scales the vertical cliff face of Debre Damo in Ethiopia on a quest for the legendary Ark of the Covenant. In the Holy Lands of Israel and Palestine he has the chance to be cleansed of all shame by an ancient relic - but will it help him find the Ark?

  • Uzbekistan to Syria
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    November 16, 2007

    Dan Cruickshank appraises the rarely visited trading domes of Uzbekistan and Fire Temple of Azerbaijan before moving on to scale a cliff face to reach the Bisitun carvings. He takes in the remains of the great city of Persepolis in Iran, explores the exotic souk in Damascus, and gets some pampering at a hammam - a local steam bath.

  • India to Sri Lanka
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    November 9, 2007

    Fertility and sex get Dan Cruickshank's blood pumping as he grapples with a naked ten-armed goddess in Calcutta, comes face to face with triple-breasted goddess Menakshi and enters the world's greatest temple of love: the Taj Mahal. To calm down, he finds enlightenment in the celestial city of Jaipur, and is blessed by an elephant.

  • Japan to China
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    November 2, 2007

    From swords of the samurai to the tranquillity of a temple, Dan Cruickshank experiences the extremes of Japan. In China, he walks the Great Wall, contemplates the massed ranks of the Terracotta Army and finds peace in the Empress of China's marble boat.

  • Australia to Cambodia
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    October 26, 2007

    Dan Cruikshank visits St. James' Church in Sydney. He admires Aboriginal rock art in Kakadu National Park and spirit houses and tau tau effigies in Sulawesi, and the Borobudur monument in Java. In Thailand he sees the Gold Elephant of Ayutthaya and in Cambodia he visits Angkor Wat and the Stone Faces of Bayon.

  • Mexico to America
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    October 19, 2007

    Ancient Mayan tombs, the Statue of Liberty, Thomas Jefferson's elegant home in Virginia and the town of Mesa Verde in Colorado are just some of the landmarks in Dan Cruickshank's search for humanity's most beautiful achievements. On a darker note he appraises the ruthlessly efficient 1851 Navy Colt handgun.

  • Peru to Brazil
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    October 12, 2007

    A trip deep into the Amazonian rainforests to the peaks of the Andes marks the start of Dan Cruickshank's journey to over 40 countries in search of humanity's most beautiful and precious achievements. He visits the ruins of Machu Picchu and Rio's giant statue of Christ, plus the gold treasures of the Moche people, who ritually sacrificed humans.