Mission Houses Museum
Occupying the original headquarters of the Sandwich Islands mission that forever changed the course of Hawaiian history, this modest...
The first major government building ordered by the Hawaiian monarchy in 1874, the ‘House of Heavenly Kings’ was designed by Australian...
No other place evokes a more poignant sense of Hawaii’s history. The regal palace was built under King David Kalakaua in 1882. At that...
Hidden on the ground floor of the Hawaiʻi State Art Museum, this arty cafe is a downtown outpost of Kaimuki’s trendy Town. Market-fresh...
957 Punchbowl St · interesting places nearby
Kawaiahaʻo Church information
Nicknamed ‘Westminster Abbey of the Pacific,’ Oʻahu’s oldest church was built on the site where the first mission-aries constructed a grass thatch church shortly after their arrival in 1820. The original structure seated 300 Hawaiians on lauhala mats, woven from hala (screwpine) leaves.
This 1842 New England Gothic–style church is made of 14,000 coral slabs, which divers chiseled out of Oʻahu’s underwater reefs – a weighty task that took four years. The clock tower was donated by Kamehameha III, and the old clock, installed in 1850, still keeps accurate time. The rear seats of the church, marked by kahili (feather staffs) and velvet padding, are reserved for royal descendants today.
The tomb of King Lunalilo , the short-lived successor to Kamehameha V, is found at the main entrance to the church grounds. The cemetery to the rear of the church is almost like a who’s who of colonial history: early Protestant missionaries are buried alongside other important figures, including infamous Sanford Dole, who became the first territorial governor of Hawaiʻi after Queen Liliʻuokalani was overthrown.