Pu'uhonua O Honaunau is a centuries old historic site that was of great importance in pre discovery Hawaii. Most of the site dates back about 500 years and is currently taken care of by the National Parks Service. The "City of Refuge" was a place where women, the elderly, and children would go in times of war. When the war was finished, all would be bound to the victor.
The City was also a place where those who broke the "kapu," or sacred Hawaiian law might find a pardon. Kapu forbid women to eat with men, and commoners to look at a chief or even touch a chief's shadow. The punishment for such crimes was death, unless the offender could run / hike / swim to this sanctuary. Often times a canoe would follow a refuge seeker and spear him to death before he could make it to refuge.
Today, many visitors come without being chased to get a glimpse of the village. Admission to the park is $5 per carload and is good for a week.
Many of the rock walls and structures date back 500 years.