About The King Kamehameha Statue
The King Kamehameha Statue is a statue of Hawaii’s great 18-19th century leader, King Kamehameha I.
Renowned as a great leader, warrior and diplomat, King Kamehameha I (Kamehameha the Great) (1756-1819) is perhaps revered as Hawaii’s most iconic historical figure. King Kamehameha united the Hawaiian Islands into one royal kingdom (Kingdom of Hawaii) in 1810 after years of conflict.
In fact, you can still visit the Nuuanu Pali Lookout today, the site of the Battle of Nuuanu, a conflict that was central to helping Kamehameha conquer Oahu. Today, Kamehameha is respected as was one of Hawaii’s most beloved heroes.
Unification of Hawaii
Kamehameha’s unification of Hawaii was particularly significant since under separate rule, it was highly likely that the islands would have been torn apart by competing western powers.
Today, four commissioned statues stand in grandeur to honor King Kamehameha the Great:
- One in downtown Honolulu, fronting Aliiolani Hale (Hawaii State Supreme Court)
- Another in Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C.
- The original statue at the king’s birthplace in Kapaau on the Big Island
- Another 14-foot, five-ton statue in Hilo.
The Statue At Aliiolani Hale
Of the four statues, the most famous and recognizable stands in front of Aliiolani Hale (home to the Hawaii State Supreme Court).
The statue stands across from the royal Iolani Palace and is just a short walk from historic Kawaiahao Church and the State Capitol. The 18-foot bronze statue is today one of Oahu’s most photographed landmarks.
The statue depicts Kamehameha in his royal garb. The attre includes a helmet of rare feathers and a gilded cloak. In his left hand is a spear that serves to symbolize the kingdom’s ability to defend itself from hostile nations. To contrast, his right hand, is extended, a symbol of the welcoming and warm nature of Hawaiian natives.
The Statue Is Adorned on Kamehameha Day
Every June 11th is Kamehameha Day, a state holiday. On this day, in a late-afternoon lei-draping ceremony, the statue is ceremoniously draped with beautiful wreaths of fresh flower lei as well as fragrant strands of yellow and pink plumeria to celebrate Hawaii’s greatest leader.
- From Waikiki, you can take Kalakaua Avenue and drive toward the mountains.
- Turn left onto South Beretania Street continue until you reach to Richards Street.
- Turn left onto Richards Street.
- Turn left onto South King Street. The statue will be on the right in front of the Aliiolani Hale.
An easy way to get there is to take part in a hiking tour of Big Island and Oahu.
Official location: 417 South King Street, Honolulu HI 96813