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June 30, 2013

Hawai’i: Star of the Sea Painted Church


DSC_4258_HDR-Edit-EditA favorite stop for photographers near Hawai’i’s Volcanoes National Park is the Star of the Sea Painted Church.  Though it looks older, the church was built in 1927-1928 under the direction of the Belgian Catholic missionary priest Father Evarist Gielen.  Gielen painted the upper section of the church interior.  In 1941, George Heidler, an artist from Athens, Georgia, painted the lower panels, completing the church’s interior.  The building, on the National Register of Historic Places, is open to the public without charge seven days a week from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

The Painted Church has not always been in its current location.  In 1990, the structure was moved to its present location Highway 130 between mile marker 19 and 20 just ahead of an advancing lava flow from the nearby Kīlauea Volcano.  In its current spot of the church is likely safe from Kīlauea’s lava for years to come.  But inevitably Kīlauea will reclaim the land that the Painted Church currently rests on.  Pele is indeed a fickle landlord.

The painted inside of Star of the Sea

The painted inside of Star of the Sea

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Outside of the Painted Church (HDR from color IR originals converted to B&W)

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1 Comment »

  1. Too bad we didn’t walk at the time we drove by in Hawaii.

    There’s another church with lovely palm trees arching across the ceiling. I think in HIlo on Big Hawai’i.

    Comment by Jean — July 16, 2013 @ 9:27 pm


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