The Ancient Capitals of the Kingdom of Tonga

Photo by Stanislaw Warwas.

The Ancient Capitals of the Kingdom of Tonga is part of the Tentative list of Tonga in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

The Ancient Capitals of the Kingdom of Tonga are the pre-eminent cultural sites in the Kingdom of Tonga, bearing witness to a maritime empire formed in the 10th century. Ha’amonga ’a Mau’I Historic Park is the site of the second capital of ancient Tonga, and includes a large stone slab that served as the king’s throne, and three large coral limestone slabs that may have had an astronomical function. The Ancient Royal Tombs at Lapaha consist of 22 ancient tombs where Tongan kings, or Tu’i Tongans, and their descendants through the present day are buried.

Map of The Ancient Capitals of the Kingdom of Tonga

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The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.

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Christravelblog

Netherlands - 21-Jan-20 -

The Ancient Capitals of the Kingdom of Tonga (T) by Christravelblog

I enjoyed the two parts of this TWHS inscription. Each country deserves I think at least 1 WHS and for Tonga the ancient capitals can be one for sure.

Ha'amonga ‘a Mau'i Historic Park: This park has two structures. A trilithon and a stone which is said to be the kings throne. They are over 10 centuries old from the time the capital was located there. I had a look for maybe 20 minutes as that's all that it takes. But it's interesting to see how on such a small island in the middle of the pacific this was constructed.

Ancient Royal Tombs of Lapaha in the village of Mu'a: These tombs are a kind of stepped pyramids. There are several and all those burried there are in line of the current king. In the current capital even, the more recent kings, are buried in a similar way.

After reading the UNESCO submission I do agree and that this for sure has the potential for a WHS. 

How to get there? Best option is from Auckland to Tonga. At the time of my visit I only could fly back (or to Australia) but now you can go to Samoa as well with a weekly flight and continue to other islands.

(photo copyright CTB Global - permission to use on worldheritagesite.org)

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Full Name
The Ancient Capitals of the Kingdom of Tonga
Country
Tonga
Added
2007
Type
Cultural
Link
By ID
2007 Added to Tentative List

The site has 2 locations

The Ancient Capitals of the Kingdom of Tonga: Ha'amonga ‘a Mau'i Historic Park (T)
The Ancient Capitals of the Kingdom of Tonga: Ancient Royal Tombs of Lapaha in the village of Mu'a (T)
WHS 1997-2021