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Ancient Invisitble Cities - BBC2

Programme Name: Ancient Invisible Cities - TX: n/a - Episode: Istanbul (No. Istanbul) - Picture Shows: in front of the Hagia Sophia, Istanbul. Michael Scott - (C) BBC Studios - Photographer: Renny Bartlett
(Image credit: BBC Studios/Renny Bartlett)

Michael Scott uncovers Istanbul’s many hidden marvels and splendours in the final instalment of his three-part documentary

Dr Michael Scott gallops through the tumultuous history of Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, in the final instalment of this revealing series.

Using the latest 3D scanning technology to expose what history has hidden he goes beyond the surface to a grand and ancient city full of complex engineering centuries ahead of its time.

The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, shown in a 3D laser scan

The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, shown in a 3D laser scan

He begins in the huge 1,500-year-old Hagia Sophia, a cathedral built by the Romans, to find out how so much of it has survived for so long.

He also explores the ruins of the Great Palace and delves deep beneath the city, through the unassuming doors of a carpet shop, to see an ancient mosaic and holy well.

It’s a thrilling end to what’s been a fascinating and unique series.

TV Times rating: ****