For centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire, French kings struggled for control against the church and the aristocracy and for European dominance. Chaos and bloody warfare rampaged inside and outside the country but one thing drove the nation forward: its unquenchable thirst for glory. Then France stood on the precipice of utter disaster as the French Revolution devolved into a period of brutal repression known as the Reign of Terror. From the ashes emerged one of the greatest military strategists in history, Napoleon, whose desire for glory was just as great as that of the French monarchs he had replaced. Throughout this history, France built brilliantly innovative, widely influential masterpieces that have given the world some of its greatest feats of engineering. The include: The massive and majestic Notre Dame de Paris, the greatest of medieval cathedrals that brought the Gothic style to fulfillment and became the model for cathedrals throughout Europe. A system of star shaped fortresses built by the brilliant military engineer Sebastian Vauban that created defenses so impregnable they lasted for centuries. The most beautiful canal in the world, the Canal du Midi, a triumph of engineering innovation and aesthetic design. And, The Arc de Triomphe, an enduring monument to the glory of France under Napoleon. The Eiffel Tower, a landmark in steel engineering that has become the symbol of France around the world.

Film Duration: 44 min