Wednesday 24th August 10.10pm
Dan Snow presents an immersive series, going back in time to bring cities’ stinking histories vividly to life. Tonight he looks at Paris, which just 200 years was famously one of the foulest and smelliest cities in Europe. In this programme, historian Dan Snow sniffs out the rotten story of the French revolution. Stunning CGI reveals the stinking streets where ordinary people slaved in toxic industries and suffered grotesque poverty and disease. Dan immerses himself in their world, visiting a perfumer to recreate the stench of the 18th century city – Pong de Paris. He has a go at one of the worst jobs in history – tanning leather by 18th century methods using dog poo and urine – to make exquisite luxury goods that only the filthy rich could afford.
He gets a rare glimpse of the private rooms of infamous Queen Marie Antoinette, at the glittering palace of Versailles, to reveal some surprising facts about the royal court. He also comes face to face with the ultimate killing machine – the gruesome guillotine, and finds out what happened to the thousands of bodies that overflowed in the cemeteries of Paris during The Terror. Snow will discover how monumental filth and injustice drove Parisians to a bloody revolution that would transform their city and give birth to a new republic.