October 20, 2012 - Walking Around 'Iolani Palace and Aliʻiōlani Hale

Now that the wedding was over, we decided to use our last day to explore O'ahu a little more.  I had been several times before, but some of my relatives had either not been in awhile or not at all.  So, I decided to take them Honolulu for a little bit.  We went to 'Iolani Palace, the official residence of Hawaiian royalty and home of the last monarchy.  And, from there, we could walk around a little.




I had been to 'Iolani Palace before and had even gotten a chance to take the tour inside.  At the time I went, you couldn't take pictures inside, although I understand that rule had changed.  It's actually got a fascinating history.  Did you know that 'Iolani Palace actually had electricity before either the White House or Buckingham Palace had electricty?  That's because King Kalakaua was fascinating with new technology and wanted 'Iolani Palace to have the most modern amenities.  It also included indoor plumbing and the newly invented telephone.

On the grounds, these amazing Banyan trees grow.  I am absolutely captivated by Banyan trees because they always look like they have a story to tell.  They seem so wise, perhaps because of its sprawling aerial roots shooting upward and entwining with the host tree.




On the ground, they have the site of the first Royal Mausoleum built to house the remains of King Kamehameha II and Queen Kamamalu.  The Royal Mausoleum and their remains have since been moved to the Nuʻuanu Valley.




Also on the grounds are the old 'Iolani Barracks which housed the Royal Guards.  It is now used for a gift shop, has a small theater and tour sales are also done there.


Just outside the grounds, there is a statue that honors Queen Lili'uokalani, the last of the Hawaiian Royal Monarchs.  She was only queen for a short period of time before the Kingdom of Hawaii was overthrown.  During the overthrow, she was imprisoned within 'Iolani Palace for a year.  Queen Lili'uokalani, a great lover of art and culture, was also famous for writing many famous songs, including "Aloha Oe."  If you look in her hand on the statue, you can see the sheet music for the song.




After exploring the grounds of 'Iolani Palace for awhile, we walked across King Street to Aliʻiōlani Hale, the home of the Hawaii State Supreme Court.  In front of it is the famed statue of King Kamehameha I who conquered the Hawaiian islands and founded the Kingdom of Hawaii.  





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