Palau was born of a sacrifice, from a giant, who fell into the sea from the island of Angaur, to become the places we now know as Babeldaob, Koror, the Rock Islands, and the outlying islands of Kayangel, Peleliu, and the distant Southwest Islands.
At the southernmost tip of the archipelago of Palau, Angaur is a small coralline island located approximately 10km southeast of Peleliu Island. A raised platform type of island, the land is around eight square km that rises up from the sea from steep shoreline cliffs to the rugged terrain dotted with marshy swamps and mixed forests of small stands and ironwood trees
Centuries past, large numbers of birds nested on Angaur, their droppings eventually becoming phosphate deposits, which led to mining of phosphate by the German Administration in the the early part of the 20th century. These mines are located along the east coast continued operation through the Japanese and American Administrations, and finally stopped during the 1950's. On the west side of the island, a small natural harbor was expanded and a lighthouse was built. The remains of this lighthouse are still visible north west of the harbor.
Most inhabitants of the island concentrated on the west cost, south of the harbor, in the villages of Rois and Mgaramasch, and are connected by roads that crisscross and encompass the island.
The 6,600 foot landing strip, built on the east coast of the island by the Japanese administration, was an important aspect that led to the decision by the American forces to take Angaur along with Peleliu during World War II. Angaur was much less fortified than Peleliu, and the island was not subject to as much shelling and damage as Peleliu had been, nor was there near as much loss of life.
Amidst the calm forests, war relics lie resting in the shade, remembering those who had been lost. Along the quiet, tree-covered roads, you can feel the mystique and peace that has settled over the island.
For more information, contact:
Angaur State Office, P.O. Box 1375, Koror, Palau 96940, Tel: (680) 488-5282
"All gave some; some gave all."
©Palau Visitors Authority 1994