Ahuena Heiau Organization on a brief history of the site. History is an important part of the Hawaiian culture. Join us on one of our tours to learn about the culture from the best guides on the Big Island.
The Ahu’ena Heiau rock platform base, perimeter wooden fencing, Anu’u Tower and an uprooted ki’i were all damaged from the recent tsunami.
Ahu’ena Heiau, Inc. has surveyed the damage, consulted the State Historic Preservation Division and is working closely with a qualified historical site restorations coordinator. We are currently seeking grants to repair and restore the tsunami damage.
Kamakahonu Bay at Historic Kailua Village
The Ahu’ena Heiau (recently restored) is the religious temple that served Kamehameha the Great when he returned to the Big Island in 1812.
The center of political power in the Hawaiian kingdom during Kamehameha’s golden years, his biggest advisors gathered at the heiau each night. Three momentous events occurred here which established Ahu’ena Heiau as the most historically significant site in Hawaii:
- In the early morning hours of May 8, 1819 King Kamehameha I died here.
- A few months after the death of his father, in a time of political consternation and threat of civil war Liholiho (Kamehameha II) broke the ancient kapu system, a highly defined regime of taboos that provided the framework of the traditional Hawaiian government.
- The first Christian missionaries from New England were granted permission to come ashore here on April 4, 1820.
Not until the mid-1970s, over 150 years after these historical events unfolded, was an accurate restoration project under taken. A community-based committee Ahu’ena Heiau Inc., formed in 1993 to permanently guide the restoration and maintenance of this national treasure.
Designated National Historic Landmark, December 29, 1962
Designated Hawaii State Register of Historic Places, July 17, 1993