Friday, January 15, 2010

Iolani Palace

Iolani Palace is the only royal palace in the US used as an official residence by a reigning monarch.

We signed up for a guided tour. You can go through parts of the palace on your own, but you see more on a guided tour and get lots of information from the docent.

The shoes of mere mortals are not allowed to touch the hallowed floors of the palace so you have to put on these nifty little surgeon shoe covers.

I'm joking about the hallowed floors. It really would mess up the floors and carpets if people were just tromping through all the time in high heels and with who-knows-what stuck in their treads.

The palace is huge by Hawaiian standards. Compared to the castles in Europe, or the Biltmore House in NC, it's probably not so big - but definitely worthy of a royal residence when it was completed in 1882.

David Kalākaua was the first Hawaiian king to travel around the world, and see the homes of other monarchs. Upon his return, he commissioned the construction of a very modern palace. It had electricity and telephones even before the White House.

They are very strict about taking pictures inside the palace so I have no photos to share. I'll buy some postcards which show some of the rooms inside and scan them so I can post them on here.

Right across the street from Iolani Palace is a statue of King Kamehameha I - another famous symbol of Hawaii. On Kamehameha Day it is covered in leis which hang almost to the ground.

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