Tag Archives: King Kemehameha II

First Royal Mausoleum and Crypt at ‘Iolani Palace, Part 1 of 2

May 2, 2012 (Honolulu, Hawaii) – “Site of First Royal Mausoleum and Crypt* built in 1825 to house the remains of King Kamehameha II and Quenn Kamamalu who died in England in July, 1824 used as a Royal Tomb until 1865.” And “KAPU” / *After 1825, the first Western-style royal tomb was constructed for the bodies of King Kamehameha II and his queen Kamāmalu. They were buried on August 23, 1825. The idea was heavily influenced by the tombs at Westminster Abbey during Kamehameha II’s trip to London. The mausoleum was a small house made of coral blocks with a thatched roof. It had no windows, and it was the duty of two chiefs to guard the iron-locked koa door day and night. No one can enter the vault except for burials or Memorial Day, a Hawaiian national holiday celebrated on December 30. Photo: Pohukaina burial site with old palace behind Although Kamehameha III lived in the compound for a while, he had no permanent capital, and left in 1837 for Maui. Over time, as more bodies were added, the small vault became crowded, so other chiefs and retainers were buried in unmarked graves nearby. In 1865 a selected 20 coffins were removed to the Royal Mausoleum of Hawaii called Mauna ʻAla in Nuʻuanu Valley. But many chiefs remain on the site including: Keaweikekahialiʻiokamoku, Kalaniopuu, Chiefess Kapiolani, and Timothy Haalilio. After being overgrown for many years, the Hawaiian Historical Society passed a resolution in 1930 requesting Governor Lawrence Judd to memorialize the site