Mauna Ala – Resting Place of Royalty
Located in Nuuanu Valley, this sacred place is hardly the focus of well-travelled and tour busses. Nestled in serene Nuuanu valley is a residential area not far from the Pali Highway, the Royal Mausoleum is the resting place of Hawaiian royalty. It was originally built by Queen Emma for Hawaii’s Child Prince Albert who lived from 1858-1862. Later, is was decided that it would be the final resting place of the Kamehameha and Kalakaua dynasties along with a few chosen dignitaries.
The mausoleum consists of six structures. The largest structure is by far the Royal Chapel. This building is open for special ceremonies performed by dignitaries of the Hawaiian community.
The King Kamehameha tomb holds many important remains including all of the Kamehameha’s with the exception of King Kamehameha the Great. Also included are the sacred remains of Liloa and Lonoikamakahiki. These alii preceded the Kamehameha dynasty and were considered the one of the original group to arrive in Hawaii from Tahiti. Liloa was rebuiried from a site deep within the Wapio Valley and Lonoikamakahiki was exhumed from Hale o Keawe within Puuhonua o Honaunau.
The Kalakaua crypt is located entirely underground. Along with the remains of King Kalakaua, it holds the remains of Queen Liliuokalani, Queen Kapiolani, and Princess Victoria Kūhiō Kekaulike.
The Wyllie tomb holds the remains of Hawaii’s Minster of Foreign Affairs. Also buried here are a collection of high chiefs and chieftess for neighboring islands of Maui and Kauai.
The burial site of John Young is the most ancient looking of all the sites. John Young was a close advisor of King Kamehameha the Great. He spent most of his time with Kamehameha on the Big Island and assisted him in war strategies and arms procurement that resulted in the unification of the Hawaiian Islands.
The burial site of Charles Reed Bishop is the only singular burial site in the Mausoleum. Husband of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, he contributed to the future financial security of the Hawaiian Islands and people.
Those interested in visiting Mauna Ala are welcome to call to arrange a guided tour. Other are welcome to visit Mondays through Fridays 8am-430pm.
Royal Mausoleum State Monument 2261 Nuuanu Ave Honolulu 96817 (808) 587-0300
Hawaii Travel Tip: Dress appropriately, no beachwear alowed.
Lottie Tagupa is a native Hawaiian, born and raised on the island of Oahu. She has been writing about Hawaii for over 10 years and currently lives in Waimea on the Big Island.
Other Hawaii Travel Posts That May be of Interest