Coral Castle is an oolite limestone structure created by the Latvian-American eccentric Edward Leedskalnin (1887–1951). It is located in unincorporated territory of Miami-Dade County, Florida, between the cities of Homestead and Leisure City. The structure comprises numerous megalithic stones, mostly limestone formed from coral, each weighing several tons. It is currently a privately operated tourist attraction. Coral Castle is noted for legends surrounding its creation that claim it was built single-handedly by Leedskalnin using reverse magnetism or supernatural abilities to move and carve numerous stones, each weighing many tons.
- 1 History
- 2 The Castle
- 3 In popular culture
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 5.1 Bibliography
- 6 External links
Coral Castle's own promotional material says Edward Leedskalnin was 26 years old when he was suddenly rejected by his 16-year-old fiancée Agnes Skuvst in Latvia, just one day before the wedding. Leaving for the United States, he came down with allegedly terminal tuberculosis, but spontaneously healed, stating that magnets had some effect on his disease.
He spent more than 28 years building Coral Castle, refusing to allow anyone to view him while he worked. A few teenagers claimed to have witnessed his work, reporting that he had caused the blocks of coral to move like hydrogen balloons. The only advanced tool that Leedskalnin spoke of using was a "perpetual motion holder".
Leedskalnin originally built a castle, which he named "Ed's Place", in Florida City, Florida, around 1923. He purchased the land from Ruben Moser whose wife had assisted him when he had another very bad case of tuberculosis. Florida City, which borders the Everglades, is the southernmost city in the United States that is not on an island. At the time, it was an extremely remote location with very little development. The castle remained in Florida City until about 1936 when Leedskalnin decided to move and take the castle with him. Its second and final location has the mailing address of 28655 South Dixie Highway, Miami, FL 33033, which now appears within the census-generated overlay of Leisure City but which is actually unincorporated county territory. He reportedly chose relocation as a means to protect his privacy when discussion about developing land in the original area of the castle started. He spent three years moving the component structures of Coral Castle 10 miles (16:km) north from Florida City to its current location outside Homestead, Florida.
Leedskalnin named his new place "Rock Gate" after the huge rear swinging gate he built into the back wall. He continued to work on the castle until his death in 1951. The coral pieces that are part of the newer castle, not among those transported from the original location, were quarried on the property only a few feet away from the castle's walls. The pool and the pit beside the southern wall are quarries. The east and west quarries have been filled in.
At Florida City, Leedskalnin charged visitors ten cents apiece to tour the castle grounds, but after moving to Homestead, he asked for donations of twenty five cents, but let visitors enter free if they had no money. There are signs carved into rocks at the front gate to "Ring Bell Twice". He would come down from his living quarters in the second story of the castle tower close to the gate and conduct the tour. He never told anyone who asked him how he made the castle. He would simply answer "It's not difficult if you know how."
When asked why he had built the castle, Leedskalnin would vaguely answer it was for his "Sweet Sixteen". This is widely believed to be a reference to Agnes Skuvst (often misspelled as "Scuffs"). In Leedskalnin's own publication A Book in Every Home, he implies his "Sweet Sixteen" was mor... ...read more