Pelekane (The Royal Courtyard)
Below the Park's temples is the Royal Courtyard. Pelekane has been the scene of many important events, from the killing of Kamehameha's rival and cousin Keoua Kuahu'ula in 1791, to meetings and interactions with foreign visitors, including Captain George Vancouver of Great Britain, Otto von Kotzebue of Russia, and dignitaries from France, the United States, and other nations. In 1819, Kamehameha’s son Liholiho came to Pelekane to prepare himself to take over the kingdom at his father's death. The very next year in 1820, the first company of New England Protestant missionaries stopped here after 8 months at sea. A couple of Hawaiian men who had traveled years earlier to New England returned as missionaries themselves. At least one of these young men went ashore at Pelekane, saw that temple worship had been destroyed. It was then that they learned of the death of Kamehameha and the ending of the religious system by his son, who was now the king. In the 1830's, a girl was born at Pelekane, named Emma. She was the granddaughter of John Young. Emma later married Kamehameha IV and became Queen of Hawai'i.
Today, visitors can walk the peaceful and tranquil grounds of Pelekane. Each August, Pelekane is the scene of the annual Cultural Festival. The Royal Courtyard is also an excellent place to watch the sharks that frequent the waters offshore.
Did You Know?
Each week from January to March, volunteers from the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Santuary come to Pu'ukohola Heiau National Historic Site to watch the whales and to talk with Park visitors.