Painted Church

Kailua-Kona Big Island

An unassuming white building with a sloped green roof, the wooden exterior of St. Benedict's Catholic Church gives nothing away about the beauty of its interior. The palace is open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and $1 for children.

As you walk the creaky floorboards of this 19th century church you are surrounded by vivid frescos depicting various stories from the Bible.

The Belgian priest Father John Velghe used these six frescos to teach the spiritual lessons to native Hawaiians who could not read. Behind the altar, the talented, yet untrained, Father Velghe created a rendering of the nave of a Spanish Gothic Cathedral. The arches and columns continue on far past the physical walls of the church. The church still holds regular masses during the week and on weekends. Admission to view this mini-wonder is free, although donations to help with upkeep and preservation of the ailing building are accepted. Heading north on Highway 11 turn makai near mile marker 104 and onto highway 160. After about one mile you will come to Painted Church Road on your right. Continue up the hill for about a quarter of a mile and the church is on your right.

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Geographic Coordinates

Latitude: 19.43489252
Longitude: -155.8875925

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