Germany: Memories Of A Nation

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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05Fragments of Power2014100320141004 (R4)

Neil MacGregor discovers how coins reveal the range and diversity of the Holy Roman Empire, with around 200 different currencies struck in the different territories of Germany.

It's an extraordinarily immediate and physical way of grasping the complexity and the confusion of the Holy Roman Empire, because every coin represents a kind of sovereignty. To be able to strike a coin you needed to be the ruler in your territory - and every coin speaks of a particular state, with its particular laws and a whole set of traditions.

Producer Paul Kobrak.

13Holbein and the Hansa2014101520141016 (R4)

Neil MacGregor focuses on the Hansa, the great trading alliance, and the painter Holbein.

13Holbein and the Hansa2014101520141016 (R4)

Neil MacGregor focuses on the Hansa, the great trading alliance, and the painter Holbein.

13Holbein and the Hansa20141015

Neil MacGregor focuses on the Hansa, the great trading alliance, and the painter Holbein.

13Holbein and the Hansa20141015

Neil MacGregor charts the rise and fall of the Hansa, or Hanseatic League, a great trading alliance of 90 cities, including Lübeck, Hamburg, Danzig, Riga and London.

He also focuses on the role of the artist Hans Holbein the Younger, who painted portraits of Hansa merchants.

'If I had to choose one image to sum up the Hansa in its heyday,' says Neil MacGregor, 'It would be Holbein's 1532 portrait of Georg Gisze, a Danzig merchant trading in London.' The painting shows an expensively-dressed 33 year old man, his wealth and status indicated by a vase made of the finest, the thinnest Venetian glass, a small circular brass clock, certainly made in Southern Germany, and a Turkey carpet imported from the Levant.

Producer Paul Kobrak.

14Iron Nation20141016

Neil MacGregor focuses on 19th-century uses of iron, from jewellery to the Iron Cross.

14Iron Nation20141016

Neil MacGregor charts the role of iron in 19th century Prussia, an everyday metal whose uses included patriotic jewellery and the Iron Cross, a military decoration to honour all ranks.

Producer Paul Kobrak.

16Gutenberg: In the Beginning Was the Printer2014102020141021 (R4)

Neil MacGregor examines how Johannes Gutenberg's inventions transformed our world.

16Gutenberg: In the Beginning Was the Printer2014102020141021 (R4)

Neil MacGregor examines how Johannes Gutenberg's inventions transformed our world.

16Gutenberg: In the Beginning Was the Printer20141020

Neil MacGregor examines how Johannes Gutenberg's inventions transformed our world.

16Gutenberg: In the Beginning Was the Printer20141020

Neil MacGregor examines the life and legacy of Johannes Gutenberg, who invented moveable type and pioneered the printing press. For many, it is the moment at which the modern world began, as the book as we know it was born. It is without doubt the point at which access to knowledge stopped being the privilege of the few.

Producer Paul Kobrak.

17Dürer: An Artist for All Germans2014102120141022 (R4)

Neil MacGregor focuses on the work of Dürer (1471-1528), the defining artist of Germany.

17Dürer: An Artist for All Germans2014102120141022 (R4)

Neil MacGregor focuses on the work of Dürer (1471-1528), the defining artist of Germany.

17Dürer: An Artist for All Germans20141021

Neil MacGregor focuses on the work of Dürer (1471-1528), the defining artist of Germany.

17Dürer: An Artist for All Germans20141021

Neil MacGregor focuses on the work of Dürer (1471-1528), arguing that he is the defining artist of Germany, his image - and his self-image - known to all Germans. He was a new kind of artist, clearly fascinated by himself, and the first great artist in Europe to paint so many self-portraits. He embodies the Renaissance idea of the artist as a hero and a star, the artist of a new world and a new technology. Dürer was also the first artist to sell his work widely throughout Europe.

Producer Paul Kobrak.

18Porcelain: The White Gold of Saxony2014102220141023 (R4)

Neil MacGregor focuses on how German chemists discovered the secrets of Chinese porcelain.

18Porcelain: The White Gold of Saxony2014102220141023 (R4)

Neil MacGregor focuses on how German chemists discovered the secrets of Chinese porcelain.

18Porcelain: The White Gold of Saxony20141022

Neil MacGregor focuses on how German chemists discovered the secrets of Chinese porcelain.

18Porcelain: The White Gold of Saxony20141022

Neil MacGregor focuses on how 18th century German chemists discovered the secrets of Chinese porcelain, known then as 'white gold' - translucent, fine-glazed, and much-coveted. Porcelain became a lucrative source of income, and was used for prestigious diplomatic gifts. The Meissen porcelain factory remained one of the most prestigious parts of German manufacturing right up until 1945.

Producer Paul Kobrak.

20Bauhaus: Cradle of the Modern20141024

Neil MacGregor focuses on the Bauhaus school of art and design, founded in Weimar in 1919.

20Bauhaus: Cradle of the Modern20141024

Neil MacGregor focuses on the Bauhaus school of art and design, founded in Weimar in 1919.

Our cities and houses today, our furniture and typography, are unthinkable without the functional elegance pioneered by the Bauhaus.

Producer Paul Kobrak.

29Barlach's Angel2014110620141107 (R4)

Neil MacGregor focuses on Ernst Barlach's sculpture Hovering Angel, a unique war memorial, commissioned in 1926 to hang in the cathedral in Güstrow.

Producer Paul Kobrak.

30Reichstag2014110720141108 (R4)

Neil MacGregor ends his journey through 600 years of German history at the Reichstag.

30Reichstag2014110720141108 (R4)

Neil MacGregor ends his journey through 600 years of German history at the Reichstag.

30Reichstag20141107

Neil MacGregor ends his journey through 600 years of German history at the Reichstag.

30Reichstag20141107

Neil MacGregor began his journey through 600 years of German history at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, and ends it at the Reichstag, seat of the German Parliament. These two extraordinary buildings, only a few hundred yards apart, carry in their very stones the political history of the country.

Neil talks to architect Norman Foster, who in 1992 won the commission to restore the Reichstag, when Germany's Parliament returned to Berlin in the wake of re-unification.

Producer Paul Kobrak.