Europe from Above provides spectacular aerial footage that gives a unique insight into how tradition, engineering and natural wonders have shaped the continent, helping to paint a dynamic portrait of the region and the people who keep it alive.
Across the six-part series, viewers will be able to soar over well-known sites such as the Parthenon of Athens, where a huge restoration project is underway, explore the largest rooftop farm in the world in Paris and witness the construction of a 12-thousand tonne raft in Finland, before it travels 270 kilometres downriver to its final destination.
Other seasonal highlights include breathtaking views of the construction of the Cannakale Bridge in western Turkey, that will eventually link Europe to Asia, the precious towering Ale Stones in Sweden and Europe’s largest ice rink in city park Budapest, which is a huge source of pride for the people of Hungary.
Europe From Above returns on 14 February at 8pm on National Geographic produced by Windfall Films.
Europe From Above: Turkey
In western Turkey, the Cannakale Bridge is a ground-breaking mega-structure, that once finished, will link Europe and Asia to become the longest mid-span suspension bridge in the world. From the air, the production team joins the engineers working on one of the most ambitious construction projects in history and witnesses the building of one of the giant support towers being lifted into place at a height of over 300 metres. The team then joins Archaeologists as they attempt to uncover the secrets of the ancient Greek town of Hierapolis, that from above appears divided in two, not by snowy ground, but by mineral deposits formed from natural springs.
Europe From Above: Finland
Finland is covered by more forest than any other nation in Europe. Experience a jaw-dropping feat of engineering from above as a 12-thousand-tonne raft is created and is due to travel 270 kilometres down river to Lake Samaii. The stakes are high as the intricate raft is worth millions of Euros and if it breaks up, it will wreak havoc on the busy inland waterways. The team also follows an effort to save a diminishing population of Saimaa ringed seals.
Europe From Above: France
Paris is France’s most populous city with over 2 million people. But from the air the team is able to reveal the French capital’s hidden secret – a green oasis far above the crowded streets. Get a never-before seen aerial view as a team of horticulturalists create the largest rooftop farm in the world, as part of a masterplan to transform France’s food miles. In southern France, the Millau Viaduct is the world’s tallest bridge and one of the greatest engineering achievements in history. But how does any maintenance take place? From above, witness repairs to the lightbulbs that sit below the car deck and checks that keep vehicles safe from any lightning bolts that hit the bridge’s massive towers every year.
Europe From Above: Sweden
In Sweden, a unique aerial view reveals one of the country’s most precious ancient treasures – The Ale Stones. These are a series of 59 huge boulders, weighing up to five tonnes each, that have been stood in southern Sweden from at least 600 AD. State-of-the-art CGI reveals how the stones are shaped like the hull of a boat, with a pointed bow and stern joined by sweeping sides. But who put them here? And why was this site so important to Sweden’s ancestors? In the far north of the country, is the island of Hindersön, home to just 12 people. Normally locals have to get a boat to the mainland if they need essential supplies. But every winter the waters around this island freeze, allowing locals to construct a mammoth 15 kilometre ice-road. Watch as the landscape is transformed by the building of the road which takes military precision to engineer.
Europe From Above: Hungary
In city park in Budapest, a grandiose castle and boating lake undergo an astonishing change in the winter as the lake freezes over to be transformed into Europe’s largest ice rink. Skating here is one of the city’s oldest traditions and a huge source of pride for the people of Hungary. With a bird’s eye view, the team follows those responsible with the mammoth task of looking after the ice rink, which has to be undertaken with not one, but two Zambonis. Another highlight in Budapest is the Zsolnay tiles adorning the city’s rooftops. With a unique aerial view it’s possible to learn about their heritage and importance whilst looking at some of the city’s most prominent buildings: the Matthias Church, Szent László Church, the Hungarian Treasury Building and the Szilágyi Dezső reformed church.
Europe From Above: Greece
Greece has to cope with some of the worst ocean pollution in the world. Below the water’s surface the seabed can look like a landfill. But steps are being taken by locals to fight back. Watch from above as a team retrieves a mass of debris from the bottom of the ocean. In Athens, the iconic ancient temple the Parthenon is a masterpiece of Greek engineering, architecture, and sculpture, which has stood for over two and half thousand years. But it has been subjected to earthquakes, looting and wars over the years and is now in need of restoration work.Watch the monumental restoration efforts from above as 12 tonne blocks of stone are lifted into place with absolute precision.