Russian Fort Elizabeth


About Russian Fort Elizabeth


Russian Fort Elizabeth was named after the Empress of Russia, Elizabeth Alexeievna (also known as Louise of Baden). Although the countrys influence never fully established itself in Hawaii, Russia hoped Fort Elizabeth would strengthen their ties to the Hawaiian Islands. Russian Fort Elizabeth is the last standing Russian fort in Hawaii and is now a National Historic Landmark. (Photo: tbridge on Flickr)


Built by German physician Georg Anton Schffer with the help of Kauai chief Kaumualii, who was eager to sign a treaty to grant protectorate status of Kauai to Russian Tsar Alexander I of Russia. With the help of Russia, Kaumualii might have regained some control, but the Russian-Hawaiian alliance grew weak when Schaffer left Kauai in 1817. Fort Elizabeth was still incomplete when the Russian settlers were forced out of Hawaii in 1817 and King Kamehamehas supports took control of the fort.

Facts & Trivia

  • Island: Kauai
  • Duration: Drive By Only
  • Amenities: Photo opportunities, restrooms.
  • Insider Tip: Huge stone walls blend Hawaiian construction and Russian design.
  • Fun Fact: Although Kaumualii gave King Kamehameha I control of Kauai in 1810, there are doubts that Kaumualii actually intended to give up his power.
  • What to Expect: Waimea River; Kaumualii Highway; Russian Fort Elizabeth State Historical Park.