"Iolani Palace -- A Royal Slice of Hawaii History" Top 5 Page for this destination Palaces / Temples Tip by AKtravelers
Palaces / Temples, Oahu: 34 reviews and 69 photos
Iolani Palace is definitely worth a couple hours of your time. Not only is it the only royal palace on U.S. soil, but it offers a fascinating glimpse into a tumultuous time in Hawaiian history (though the glimpse has a monarchical tilt to it).
Iolani Palace was bulit in 1883 by King Kalakaua, in hopes that a show of grandeur might ease the imperialist pressures his government was feeling. And, though not palacial in size, Iolani palace had cutting edge technology that made it a world marvel, such as running water and electric lighting (this was before even the White House or Buckingham Palace had it. It was so early in the history of electricity, in fact, that he didn't have light switches -- power was tirned off by a royal memo sent to the generator people). Here in this palace occurred the last intrigues of the Hawaiian monarchical period, which eventually resulted in a business community coup and, finally, annexation by the United States. It's quite probable that the opulence of this palace accelerated the monarchy's decline due to the strain it put on the kingdom's treasury.
If you get to the palace in the morning, you can get a docent to lead you on a tour. I ended up with a recorded tour because I showed up later, and this was adequate, though I would have prefered the interaction I could have had with a docent.
Address: 300 King Street, Honolulu
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