Historian and writer Dan Cruickshank celebrates architecture as a creative force as he explores the world's greatest cities, buildings and monuments. In the first episode, Cruickshank explores how humanity has created beauty through architecture. He travels to Greenland to build an igloo, creating an architectural form that is under threat due to climate change. In China he scales the world's biggest Buddha and deciphers a temple in India rich with erotic images. He visits the Catherine Palace, a hot-blooded baroque masterpiece in the middle of snowy Russia. Finally, he uncovers the dark tale of Albi Cathedral, a building originally designed to suppress the local population but now an object of beauty and wonder.