Iolani Palace is a national historic landmark and the only official state residence of royalty. It was the official residence of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s last two monarchs from 1882 to 1893: King Kalakaua and his sister and successor, Queen Liliuokalani.
The palace was a symbol of promise for the Hawaiian Kingdom built by King David Kalakaua, “The Merrie Monarch.” Influenced by European architectural styles, this royal residence included Hawaii’s first electric light system, flush toilets and intra-house telephones. The rich interior features a beautiful koa staircase, dramatic portraits of Hawaiian royalty, ornate furniture and royal gifts and ornaments from around the world.
In 1893, a provisional U.S. government was established after opposition forces overthrew the Hawaiian monarchy. The Hawaiian Islands were eventually annexed as a United States Territory in 1898. Hawaii became the 50th state in 1959 and during this time Iolani Palace was used as the capitol building until 1968. After falling into disrepair over the years, the Iolani Palace was opened to the public in 1978 after an extensive renovation.
Iolana Palace Haunting
Aside from the beauty appeal of the palace, there are rumors that some of the royal family has never left the palace, including Queen Lili’uokalani. The Queen was imprisoned in this palace for eight months after trying to overthrow the government. Visitors today report seeing her ghostly figure gliding across the grounds, and her silhouette in the windows of the now unoccupied palace.