Information on talks available

Architectural History

Talks relating to Areas of the World

Europe & the Mediterranean
The Baltic
Africa & Middle East
The Americas



Send Ron a Message


“Thanks for your talks onboard Artemis we found them both very informative, enjoyable and well presented”  

Geoff & Freda

 “We thought that your talk on the Panama Canal was one of the best talks we had ever been to” 

Jan and Derek 

"I have to say Ron that it was brilliant of Holland America to get you on Statenham to talk about the Maya, Aztecs and Incas on the Inca Empire cruise and your talks, so brilliantly delivered, really made the cruise for us and for many of our fellow cruisers. The standing ovation after your last talk and comments from everyone surely shows that you have established a fan club, which hopefully will bring you back again"


As I finish this up it’s November 11, we’ve heard another chapter in Lecturer Ron Gatepain’s Central and South American early civilizations lectures. He’s one of the best speakers we’ve heard on these series and we’re enjoying them
marney at wilde dot org

"Attended your talks on Veendam, had to say what an excellent set of talks they were, they really brought the Mayan civilization alive. Enlightening and entertaining, what a combination". 


"Just a note to say how much we enjoyed your talks on Voyager, they were informative but also entertaining, thank you. Hope to see you on one of our future cruises".   


"Thanks for your talks on the Niew Amsterdam Panama Canal Cruise, great presentations and loved your humor."


       The Americas

Talks can be delivered which relate to the following countries: 
United States, Central America, Belize, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Peru.

See below for the talks that are available for each of the above locations.

United States
   Statue of Liberty - New York 

One of the most recognizable icons of the USA it has an overall height of 305ft and is made of copper sheet on a framework of steel. The Statue was presented to the United States by the people of France in 1886. In this talk, Ron looks at its construction and takes a look inside the statue. LEARN MORE
Empire State Building New York

In this talk, Ron explains the history of one of the world’s most famous skyscrapers and the way it was constructed. He explores the changes in building techniques that were to allow for its’ construction and the influence that this was to have on the development of the Skyscraper. 
World_Trade_Centre_Memorial World Trade Centre – New York
The World Trade Centre consisted of 7 buildings including the Twin Towers which when completed in 1973 were the world’s tallest buildings.  The centre itself was completed in 1985 but suffered a devastating attack on September 11th, 2001, which brought about its destruction.  In this talk, Ron looks at the construction and history of the complex, its destruction, and the subsequent events leading to its redevelopment and the establishment of the 9/11 Museum and Memorial. He takes you around the memorial explaining the significance of the items displayed there and tells some of the personal stories of those involved. READ MORE
Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco 

The suspension bridge opened in 1937 is one of the most famous bridges in the world. In this talk, Ron explains the principles of bridges and looks at why this design was chosen and how it was constructed. 
Alcatraz - San Francisco 

Situated 1.5 miles offshore from San Francisco it has served as the base for a lighthouse and a military fortification before being used as a federal prison to house the United States' most dangerous and notorious prisoners. During its 29 years as a prison, it is claimed that no prisoner ever escaped from it. In this talk, Ron looks at its location, history, and some of its most famous inmates and at the prison itself.
Las Vegas - Nevada 

In this talk, Ron looks at the development from a watering hole for the railway on its way to California in the 1880s to becoming the entertainment centre of the world showing the attractions and architecture of one of the most exciting cities in the world. LEARN MORE 
Hoover Dam - Nevada/Arizona 

Built in the great depression of the 1930s as a concrete arch-gravity dam to provide irrigation and power for the Western USA it was named after President Herbert Hoover. In this talk, Ron looks at its design and construction and some of the facts that marked it out as a great piece of civil engineering.
The Alamo - San Antonio, Texas  

Built around 1718 by Spanish settlers as a mission it became known as the Alamo at the beginning of the 19th century when it was used to station Spanish troops. In 1835 it was taken over by Texan Forces in the Texas Revolution but was made famous for a stand made there by around 200 personnel against the army of Mexico in 1836. This resulted in the deaths of all the defenders who included Davy Crocket and Jim Bowie, and its fall became a rallying point leading to the independence of Texas. In this talk, Ron will explain its history and take you on a virtual tour around the Alamo as it is today explaining the buildings and its importance to American history.
Central America

Cities of the Maya

Many magnificent cities were constructed by the Maya between 300 – 650 AD and which are now in the process of being recovered from the jungle. In this talk, Ron will look at some of the most famous of the Mayan cities and the civilization that built them and discusses the history and lives of their people. 

Cities & Civilisations of Mesoamerica

In this talk, Ron looks at the development of the civilisations that dominated Mesoamerica from the 1st to 16th century though their architecture and cities. He looks at the people and the significant events in their history and the effect that they had on the development of the region.


Altun Ha

Dating from 250 BC to 900 AD Altun Ha was a significant trading centre of the Maya with a population of around 10,000 living in and around the city. The central area of the site has the remains of around 500 structures. Within one of the temples a 15 centimetre high jade head of Kinich Ahau, the Maya Sun God was found, this object is considered to be one of the national treasures of Belize. In this talk, Ron looks at the site and its importance as a Maya centre.  LEARN MORE

Situated in the jungle in Guatemala, Tikal is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centres of the Maya civilization with an estimated population as high as 90,000. At its’ height, it was one of the most important Maya cities and dominated much of the Maya world politically, economically, and militarily. In this talk, Ron takes a virtual tour explaining its rise and fall.  LEARN MORE

Chichen Itza

Covering an area of over 5 square kilometres Chichen Itza is one of the most popular Maya cities. Built on artificially levelled terrain it contains a number of different architectural styles in its building and includes the Pyramid of Kukulcan, The Temple of Warriors, Observatory, and the largest ball court in the Americas. In this talk, Ron looks at the site and its buildings and its place in Maya history. 

The Mayan city, which contains some of the finest architecture produced by the Mayas, reached its height in the 7th century AD under the rule of Pakal. His tomb was found intact at the site and is one of the best-preserved discovered in the Americas. In this talk, Ron takes you on a tour of the site to look at the buildings and the artefacts found there and the people involved in its history. 


Covering an area of around 150 acres the centre of Uxmal is one of the best-preserved Maya sites, something that is due to the high quality of the buildings which are constructed of well-cut stones set in concrete. The site provides a good visual impression of what the city would have looked like at its height. In this talk, Ron will look at the buildings and the history connected to them. 

In the first century AD, Teotihuacan was the largest city in Mesoamerica with a population of more than 200,000 inhabitants, placing it among the largest cities of the world during this time. It is known for its pyramids and is one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico. In this talk, Ron looks at the architecture of the city and its history and the development of Mesoamerican civilization. 

Founded in 1325 as the capital city of the Aztec civilization it became the largest and most powerful city in Mesoamerica dominating the other tribes around Mexico. Destroyed by the Spanish in 1521 few traces now remain as it lies under Mexico City. In this talk, Ron looks at the Aztecs, the construction of Tenochtitlan and the destruction by the Spanish.
Panama Canal

Completed in 1914 it has been described as the eighth wonder of the world although cost the lives of over 25,000 men to construct. In this talk, Ron looks at why and how it was built and how the difficulties were overcome. He also looks at the way it functions by illustrating a trip across the Isthmus of Panama along the canal.  LEARN MORE
Machu Picchu

Built by the Incas in the 15th century it was deserted 100 years later to remain lost to the world until it was brought to worldwide attention in 1911. In this talk, Ron will take you on a virtual tour of the site and explain its history and architecture. 
Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas

Cusco was the capital of the Inca Empire until destroyed by the Spanish following their arrival in 1533. In this talk, Ron looks at its history through its archaeological remains and at the lives of the Incas and the Conquistadores who brought about its downfall. LEARN MORE

Lima Cathedral

The Basilica Cathedral of Lima was conceived, designed and built by the Spanish Conquistador Francisco Pizarro who founded Lima as the capital of Peru after subjugating the Inca. Construction began in 1535 and was completed in 1538, although as a small adobe building. Over the years it underwent a number of improvements and extensions and now holds the remains of Pizarro. In this talk, Ron looks at the Cathedral and the man and events that led to its construction.  LEARN MORE

Chan Chan

Constructed by the Chimor around 850 AD, Chan Chan is the world’s largest adobe city and supported 30,000 inhabitants until its conquest by the Inca in 1470. In this talk, Ron looks at the Chimú site, its history and its people. 

El Brujo


The Temples of the Sun and Moon

The centres of ritual for the Moche people El Brujo and the Temples of the Sun and Moon provide a glimpse into the pre-Chimú culture of 100 AD to 800 AD. In this talk, Ron uses the archaeological sites as a medium to look at the Moche civilization and their place in South American history.  LEARN MORE and LEARN MORE


              All  Photographs were taken by and are copyright of Ron Gatepain

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