A Place For Royalty
The significance of the land around ʻIolani Palace stretches back to antiquity. It is thought to have been the site of an ancient heiau (place of worship).
In 1845, King Kamehameha III established his official residence in a large commodious home on this site. The structure served five Hawaiian kings until its demolition in 1874.
The cornerstone for ʻIolani Palace was laid on December 31, 1879 with full Masonic rites and construction was completed in 1882. The Palace was the official residence of the Hawaiian monarchs, where they held official functions, received dignitaries and luminaries from around the world, and entertained often and lavishly.
ʻIolani Palace was ahead of its time as it was outfitted with the most up-to-date amenities, including electric lights, indoor plumbing and a modern communications system – the telephone.
King Kalākaua painting by William Cogswell
Musical program from a breakfast party hosted by King Kālakaua. This party would have been serenaded by The Royal Hawaiian Band playing marches, waltzes, polkas written by contemporary and earlier composers.
Honolulu Star Bulletin: 3 'Court Architects' Were Involved in ʻIolani Palace Work
Honolulu Advertiser: Merrie Birthday, and Here's Your Sword
Honolulu Advertiser: Monarchy to Annexation: King David Kalākaua