State Capitol

sights / Architecture

State Capitol information

Oʻahu , USA
415 S Beretania St
+1 586 0178
Opening hours
7:45am-4:30pm Mon-Fri
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Built in the architecturally interesting 1960s, Hawaii’s state capitol is not your standard gold dome. It’s a poster child of conceptual postmodernism: two cone-shaped legislative chambers have sloping walls to represent volcanoes; the supporting columns shaped like coconut palms symbolize the eight main islands; and a large encircling pool represents the Pacific Ocean surrounding Hawaii. Visitors are free to walk through the breezy, open-air rotunda and peer through viewing windows into the legislative chambers. Pick up a self-guided tour brochure on the 4th floor from Room 415.

In front of the capitol is a highly stylized statue of Father Damien , the Belgian priest who lived and worked with victims of Hansen’s disease who were exiled to the island of Molokaʻi during the late 19th century, before later dying of the disease himself. In 2009, the Catholic Church canonized Father Damien as Hawaii’s first saint after the allegedly miraculous recovery from cancer in 1988 of a Honolulu schoolteacher who had prayed over Damien’s original grave site on Molokaʻi.

Pointedly positioned between the capitol and ʻIolani Palace is a life-size bronze statue of Queen Liliʻuokalani , Hawaii’s last reigning monarch. She holds a copy of the Hawaiian constitution she wrote in 1893 in an attempt to strengthen Hawaiian rule; ‘Aloha ʻOe,’ a popular song she composed; and ‘Kumulipo,’ the traditional Hawaiian chant of creation.