Nuku`alofa Google maps and facts
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Nuku'alofa's white Victorian "Royal Palace" is symbol synonymous with the Kingdom of Tonga. Visitors can see the palace from outside of the surrounding walls. When H.M. King Taufa'ahau Tupou is in residence -- the royal standard is flying from the palace. This was once home of the late Queen Salote Tupou III, mother of the present king. She was famous for having ridden in an open-top carriage during Queen Elizabeth II's coronation so the thousands of people waiting could see her - despite the rain! All other attendees did not. She is forever remembered by British people for it.
Nuka'alofa, the capital of Tonga is the center of government and is the seat of His Majesty and Legislative Assembly. Tonga is a Constitutional Monarchy, which came into being in 1875 - with a declaration of the Tongan Constitution by King Tupou I. Today the Tongan government is divided into three bodies: a.) The King Privy Council and Cabinet, b.) The Legislative Assembly and c.) The Judiciary.
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Sights in Nukualofa:
British High Commissioner's Residence
Not far from the Royal Palace. See the cannons taken from the privateer Port au Prince captured 1806 at Ha'apai. The story of the capture and survival of a few of its English crew is told by William Mariner in the book "Tonga Islands."
Tongan National Center
Located across the main road from the Vaiola Hospital. The oval shaped buildings are based upon Polynesian design and their roof struts are bound decorative coconut fiber. Here the visitor will find handicraft demonstrations, tapa in canoe making, wood carving, basket and mat weaving. Historic photographic and artifacts on loan from the Royal Palace are worth seeing. Why not join a lunch time show and an interesting two hour guided tour.
Burial site of Tongan Royalty since 1893 is located in the center of Nuku'alofa. Its near the Basilica of St. Anthony of Padua.
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