The 12th-century Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park is also known as the "Place of Refuge." This was once a sanctuary where those who broke Polynesian taboos could receive ritual purification. This was critical, because if their misdeeds were discovered before they were purified, they were executed.
The park sits on an idyllic cove and contains rebuilt temples, traditional houses and carved wooden tiki images of the gods. The original stone walls and platforms of the sanctuary lend an atmosphere of quiet authenticity to the place. Historical information is available.
For a pleasant drive, take Highway 160 east to St. Benedict's Painted Church (the interior is painted with scenes from the life of Father Damien, the church's first priest). Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park is 18 mi/29 km south of Kailua-Kona.
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