Kawaiaha’o Church

During my last visit to my hometown, Honolulu on the island of O’ahu, I mentioned in an earlier post that I did a doorscursion.  One of the places I stopped to revisit and shoot some photos was the Kawaiaha’o Church.

The history of this church from Wikipedia states that, “At one time the national church of the Hawaiian Kingdom and chapel of the royal family, the church is popularly known as Hawaiʻi’s Westminster Abbey. The name comes from the Hawaiian noun phrase Ka wai a Haʻo (the water of Haʻo), because its location was that of a spring and freshwater pool in the care of a High Chiefess Haʻo”.  More of the history can be found Here .

Growing up in Hawaii, I knew this was a missionary church and it was important to the Hawaiian Royalty and Hawaiian descendants (it’s located across the street from the Iolani Palace) but I did not worship here nor pay too much attention to it other than noticing its distinct architectural style.  I guess being away from the “home” makes you pause and seek more about where you came from.

So here are photos of the church with as many door perspectives that I could compose and incorporate.  The first image is the welcome sign of the church.


Metal gates are ornate doors to the property and to the crypt of King Lunalilo, the democratic elected King of Hawaii who died from illness after reigning for 1 year and 25 days.  He requested to buried among the people rather than being interred with other members of the royalty.


The front facade, doors, bell tower and clock of the stone Church.


I saw that the side door was open so I sneaked in to get a few shots of the interior; simplistic Christian interior decor.


And leaving the property, exiting the gate and saying, Aloha (in this case, goodbye).  The newer contrasting designs of highrises can be seen in the background.


I hope you get a chance to checkout all of the posts on Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors website.  Norm is the master photographer that takes beautiful photos of churches and their beautiful doors for many of his Thursday Doors posts and allows us door enthusiasts to display our finds throughout the world.  Thanks for visiting my blog and thanks to Norm 2.0 for his Thursday Doors blog.  For more blogs and photos of doors by others please go to: Thursday Doors.




20 thoughts on “Kawaiaha’o Church

  1. This is a beautiful contribution to Thursday Doors. I’m so glad you were able to sneak a few shots of the interior.I love stone buildings and iron gates and wooden doors, so you hit all my hot spots in one great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really like the perspective of the last photo capturing all the great elements of this building and its environment at the same time.

    What jumped out at me were all the flags hanging inside the church. Is that typical in the US to hang the flag inside a church? I can’t say I’ve ever seen that anywhere else.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not sure about the flags but this church has a long history and of serving the Hawaiian Royalty and descendants and there is a movement to recognize the indigenous people much like the native American Indians and repatriate them for the lands that were taken from them. The flag is the State flag.


  3. I don’t remember seeing this church when I was there. I remember the Iolani Palace vividly though.

    The church is beautiful. I love the stone and clock tower, and the last image with the city skyscrapers behind it.

    I’m glad you were able to sneak in and get some images of the interior. I always like seeing that too. Like Joanne I was struck by the flags. I wonder if they always hang there, or was it a Holiday or event the congregation was celebrating/recognizing?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Deborah. The church is about a block walk from the Palace. I really don’t know why they hang the State flag in the church but I think it is part of their interior decor (so much for the practice of separation of church and state). If I find more info I’ll let you know.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks Deborah – I’m glad it wasn’t just me. I’m not a religious person by any stretch of the imagination, but it strikes me as multiple shades of inappropriate to see a flag hanging in a church … except perhaps to cover a casket in a funeral service.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This layout reminds me so much of the church I attended as a child. The lower level with the big support columns along the upper balcony. Unfortunately they tore it down and replaced it. Was good to see something that brought back fond memories!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh it’s beautiful! And the gates — whoa! And the rafters. It’s always interesting to see churches elsewhere. I think the flags may be connected to the large military population in Hawaii. Love your shot looking up at the clocktower. Fab.

    Liked by 1 person

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