Pu’uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park

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Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park preserves an ancient Hawaiian place of refuge. This was the second stop on our ‘Best of Kona’ excursion.
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If you broke a law, any law, in old Hawaii, the penalty was death. The only way to escape that sentence was to flee to the sanctuary of a pu’uhonua. There, a priest would provide absolution to the law-breaker.
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Just outside the walls of the sanctuary are the remains and reconstruction of temples, royal fishponds and a village  where the chiefs lived for generations.  The ancient nobility were buried here, but their remains were moved to the Royal Mausoleum of Hawaii in 1858.
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We walked the path to the beach to see the Hale o Keawe temple and surrounding totems. From the lava jetty, we could see colorful fish swimming nearby. This is a sacred place, so snorkeling is not allowed, but one has only to stand at the water’s edge to glimpse the rich marine life.
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Continuing on the path took us past some fish ponds and through a gap in the great wall, constructed of lava rocks.  Then we headed up to the visitor center to listen to a ranger talk before heading back to the tour bus.
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Kona Posts:

  • St. Benedicts
  • Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park
  • Royal Kona Coffee (Coming Soon)
  • Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park (Coming Soon)
  • Huliheʻe Palace (Coming Soon)
  • Mokuaikaua Church (Coming Soon)

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Location: State Hwy 160, Hōnaunau, HI 96726

Designation: National Historical Park

Date designated or established: July 26, 1955

Date of my visit: 4/17/2019

 

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