Hawaii Historic Sites - Kawaiahao Church
We all know that there is so much to admire in Hawaii. The beaches are incredibly beautiful, the rainforests are filled with hidden sites, and the architecture of historic structures is truly something to behold. A journey through Honolulu’s historic downtown district shows off the intricate details of some of Hawaii’s most important buildings, and brings to life the importance of each.
One of the most amazing structures that you will see while visiting downtown Honolulu is the Kawaiahao Church, one of the most important historic sites in Hawaii. Not only has this building been a culturally significant site for many years, it’s recognized as one of the most uniquely constructed buildings anywhere in the world. Nicknamed the “Westminster Abbey of Hawaii”, the church was constructed in the mid-1800’s, built entirely of coral that was quarried from an offshore reef on the southern coast of Oahu. If that fact isn’t impressive enough, the bricks were hand chiseled from the reef that was between 3-6 meters below the surface of the ocean, and then brought to the site of the church.
Historically, the church was used by the chiefs of the Hawaiian Islands and a stroll through the inside of the building shows off painted portraits of Hawaiian Royalty throughout the upper gallery. The body of King Lunalilo resides in the church’s courtyard of the church, forever keeping the link to the royalty of Hawaii.
Kawaiahao church is quite easy to find, located on King St. that runs right through historic downtown Honolulu. For those exploring the area on foot, it is just south of the Iolani Palace, Ali’Ioali Hale, and the King Kamehameha the Great Statue. The most popular method for seeing the great church is as part of a Pearl Harbor Tour, passing right by the church and affording great photo opportunities.
Even if you are only planning a drive by the church and through downtown Honolulu, you’ll find a great view of the incredible structure and knowing that it is built entirely of coral, will be in awe at the details of its architecture. If you have the opportunity to stop in and learn more about the church, and enjoy the beauty of its interior and the church grounds, it is time well spent and will be a great addition to your Hawaiian vacation.
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