Featured on The History Channel and PBS, the Coral Castle is as much known for its beauty as for its mysterious origins. Latvian immigrant Ed Leedskalnin built the Coral Castle in 1923 after his sixteen-year-old bride jilted him on their wedding day. Located about 30 miles south of Miami in Homestead, this South Florida legend has long been the subject of debate. Did Leedskalnin really build the two-story Coral Castle alone, as he claimed?
Thought of as one of the most mysterious structures in North America, the Coral Castle is made up of megalithic stones, each weighing several tons. In fact, the entire castle is made up of an estimated 1100 tons of oolite rock. Leedskalnin only worked at night, claiming that he was the only person building the castle. Because of his claim, much of Coral Castle’s history is shrouded in myth, as Leedskalnin himself was only five feet tall and weighed a mere hundred pounds. How could he have single-handedly built the structure?
Supernatural or Scientific?
Leedskalnin’s journals were found after his death from stomach cancer in 1951. In them, he wrote that he’d built the Coral Castle based on the secrets of the ancient pyramids and may have believed himself to possess supernatural powers. While some believe that Leedskalnin had otherworldly help, scientists are torn. Some believe that he used basic physics and modest tools to build the Coral Castle, while others believe there was some kind of magnetic levitation involved in its construction.
One thing is for sure – the sign that greets visitors at the entrance still holds true: You will be seeing unusual accomplishment. Among the most interesting features of Ed Leedskalnin’s Coral Castle are fully functional stone rocking chairs, several unique tables including one hand-carved into the shape of Florida, a stone bathtub, and, of course, the main gate – a nine ton stone that gently moves with the mere touch of a finger. The Coral Castle is a fantastic and unusual attraction for couples looking for a romantic and mysterious escape from the ordinary.
If You Go
The Coral Castle is located at 28655 South Dixie Highway in Miami. Visit their homepage or call 305-248-6345 for more information. Hours are from 8 am to 6 pm. Adults are $15; seniors with ID, $12; kids 7-12, $7.