The Kunsthistorisches Museum is a treasury of antiquities and weaponry collected by the royal family known as the Habsburgs – a dynasty that ruled much of Europe for 500 years.
In this episode, we visit the crypt that entombs many generations of the Habsburg royal family, then meet a geneticist who is attempting to discover how inbreeding led to their demise. We go hunting with falcons to discover how one Habsburg emperor’s hobby lay the foundation for modern science, then recreate the alchemical experiment that led another emperor to believe that silver could be transmuted into gold. While learning the proper way to do the Viennese waltz, we discover how a dance craze impacted European history, then recreate a strange piece of ancient armor to find out how and why it was designed to explode. And finally, we meet a detective who takes us on the trail of a thief who purloined the museum’s most valuable treasure.