Your Destination Guide to Oahu

Destination Guide Oahu - Your Destination Guide to Oahu, HI

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Royal Mausoleum

Royal Mausoleum
Royal Mausoleum

© cliff1066

The Royal Mausoleum—or Mauna 'Ala, as it is known in Hawai'ian—houses the remains of many individuals who have figured significantly in Hawai'i's history. Among those interred here are members of the Kamehameha and Kalākaua dynasties, the two royal families who ruled over the Kingdom of Hawai'i from 1810 to 1872 and 1874 to 1893, respectively.

Located in a tranquil neighborhood of O'ahu, the mausoleum retains an atmosphere of calm and peacefulness. Trees shade much of the grounds, and egrets and mynas tread the area. The only site in the United States allowed to fly the Hawaiian flag without the national flag beside it, Mauna 'Ala provides visitors with a quiet glimpse into Hawai'i's past.

Completed in 1865 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Mauna 'Ala was built to be the final resting place of the kings of Hawai'i. Indeed, only two kings are not interred in the mausoleum. The property features a chapel, an obelisk, three crypts, a grave, and a monument. As you enter the gates, you'll see the first crypt, the Wyllie Tomb, on your left. Named for Robert C. Wyllie—a Scot who came to Hawai'i in 1840 and was Minister of Foreign Affairs during much of the Kamehameha dynasty—the crypt holds Wyllie and members of the family of Queen Emma, wife of King Kamehameha IV.

A few feet away lies the Charles Reed Bishop Monument, which commemorates the famed businessman and philanthropist who was married to Bernice Pauahi Bishop, fellow philanthropist and great-granddaughter of King Kamehameha I.

Situated further on is the Kamehameha Dynasty Tomb. Sealed because no living descendants remain of the Kamehameha line, the crypt holds the remains of every king of the House of Kamehameha (excluding King Kamehameha I) as well as their families.

At the rear of the grounds lies the John Young Tomb, in which rest the remains of John Young, a British sailor who became a military advisor to King Kamehameha I.

An obelisk stands in the center of the central circle of Mauna 'Ala, and stairs leading under it direct you to the Kalākaua Crypt. The last two rulers of Hawai'i—King Kalākaua and Queen Lili'uokalani—are interred here, as are their spouses and other members of their families.

Behind the obelisk looms the chapel, originally the mausoleum but eventually considered too small to house all the remains.

Parking is free and is available along the road encircling the obelisk and chapel. Restrooms are located at the rear of the property.

Attraction Information

  • Hours:
  • Monday through Friday: 8am to 4pm
  • Admission:
  • Free
  • Contact:
  • Location: 2261 Nuʻuanu Avenue, Honolulu, HI
  • Phone: 808-536-7602
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