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Nuku'alofa, which translates to 'home of love', is the capital of the Kingdom of Tonga.
The first humans to settle Tonga arrived around 3,000 BC. They were Polynesians from the surrounding islands in the area between New Zealand and Hawaii. In the 1600’s various European navigators such as Abel Tasman sailed past Tonga. However, it wasn’t until 1773, and again in 1777 that European contact occurred when Captain James Cook landed and named the islands "the Friendly Islands". Missionaries and traders followed the first European explorers. However, Tonga retained its indigenous governing structure, becoming a fully functioning constitutional monarchy in 2010 when the first democratically elected Prime Minister took office. In the island’s interior the volcanic stone burial tombs of ancient Tongan kings, and a coral-stone arch, known as the Ha'amonga, are vivid reminders of Tonga’s past. The Ha'amonga is known as the "Stonehenge of the Pacific" and reputed to be about 800 years old.
Tongan and English
Constitutional Monarchy since 2010
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