Kawaiaha’o Church

Kawaiaha'o Church

Kawaiaha’o Church is a congregational church located in downtown Honolulu, it is also a designated National Historic Landmark and on the Register of Historic Places.

iStock 667206826

The church was commissioned by Ka’ahumanu during the reigns of Kamehameha II and III. It began construction in 1836 and was completed in 1842 out of about 14,000 pounds of coral rock taken from an offshore reef of southern Oahu. Hawaiian divers would dive from 3-6 meters with hand tools to chisel out each block and transport it back to the shore. It was here at Kawaiaha’o Church that Kamehameha III uttered the phrase that would become Hawaii’s official motto “Ua mau ke ea o ka ʻāina i ka pono.” “The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness”.

Kawaiaha’o Church was used as the national church of Hawaii, as well as the chapel of the royal family.  The upper gallery has 21 portraits of Hawaiian Royalty “Ali’i”, and King Lunalilo is buried in the courtyard of the church. It is also one of the oldest standing Christian places of worship in the islands and to this day still uses the Native Hawaiian Language for parts of its service.

Visit this historical Hawaiian landmark as well as many others like Pearl Harbor on your next tour of Honolulu with Polynesian Adventure Activities.