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Observations placeholder

Leedskalnin, Edward - Coral Castle - 20th Century Wonder [Feb 1991]



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Coral Castle - 20th Century Wonder [Feb 1991]

One of the most awe-inspiring stone creations is the Coral Castle of Florida, created single-handedly by  the late Edward Leedskalnin, an obscure Latvian immigrant.  Located 25 miles south  of Miami on U.S. Highway 1, it is breathtaking in scope and imagination, unbelievable for skill and patience required. Constructed in complete secrecy, it baffles engineers and laymen alike.

The story of this fantastic castle began more than 50 years ago when Edward Leedskalnin came to  South  Florida.  He chose this sparsely settled section of Florida because  he  "wanted to get away from the world."  Here he  began  many years of self-induced  hard  labor  in  order to forget his unrequited love for his one and only sweetheart.

This young  girl  who  he always referred to as his "Sweet Sixteen,"  jilted him for another on the eve of their wedding day in his native Latvia.  An extremely  sensitive soul,  he  was deeply hurt and made the decision to leave his native country and seek solace elsewhere.

Here on the edge of the Everglades he apparently  felt  he  was  far enough away from  people,  and  settled down on a small plot of land which a generous neighbor permitted him to use.

He built a house from logs cut from  the  surrounding pine trees and coral rock which  he  quarried  on  the premises.   Thus  began  the strange and unusual  project he set for himself, interrupted only by his moving to  a  larger  plot  of   ground  three  miles  north  of Homestead, which after  25 years of continuous labor  culminated  in the completion of what can only be described as one of the strangest works of man in all history.

The Coral Castle  is  no ordinary structure.  It is set on a 10-acre tract of land, the castle proper being  surrounded by an eight-foot- high wall made  of huge blocks of coral rock, each weighing  several tons.

The tower contains 243 tons, the first floor of which Leedskalnin used as a  workshop and the second floor housed his living quarters.  An air of mystery prevailed about  these  quarters  since no one was permitted entry.

Behind the huge  walls  of  the  castle  in beautiful  settings  are fantastic pieces of  coral  rock furniture and movable objects which  he created from his fertile imagination.   There  are rocking chairs weighing thousands of pounds so delicately balanced they move at the  touch of a finger.

Couches, beds, chairs, tables of all sizes and shapes, including one table hewn from  solid coral rock into the shape  of  the  state  of Florida, and another  cut into the shape of a heart with a beautiful ever-blooming floral centerpiece growing  out  of the center of this  rock table.

There are huge  crescents  atop  walls  20  feet  high,  an  obelisk  reaching up to  the  sky  weighing  28  tons that Leedskalnin set in  place by the  use  of simple hand  tools.   There  is  an  ingenious Polaris telescope carved out of the coral rock standing  25  foot in  height.  As in  most  castles  there  is a subterranean well, with a circular staircase carved out of  the  rock  leading  down  into the water.  Leedskalnin's famous nine-ton gate is in the east wall.

The Coral Castle  has  become  a familiar sight over  the  years  to  travelers on US  Highway  1  on  the  way to the Florida Keys.  Many, intrigued by this coral edifice have  taken  the time to explore it, while others raced by wondering at its incongruity  in  this  modern world of ours.

Those who stopped   were   met  by  the  man  who  constructed  this monumental work, and  guided around  while  he  explained  its  many mysteries.  But one thing he never told anyone was  how  he ever was  able to move  the  huge  coral rocks weighing up to 35 tons which he  excavated single-handed.  When asked, he replied simply that he knew the secrets used in the building of the Pyramids of Egypt.

Whatever the secrets or principles  of  construction  he  used, they  died with him when he passed away in a Miami hospital  in  December, 1951. 

Altogether there are approximately  1000  tons of coral rock used in  the construction of  the  walls  and  tower  alone,   a   stupendous  achievement for one man, unequaled in all history.  In addition more than 100 tons  of  coral  rock  were  used  in  the  carvings of the artistic objects throughout the entire castle.

Recognition of Edward Leedskalnin's  masterpiece  has grown steadily over the years.  Acknowledged today as possibly the  best example of  native or primitive  art  in the United States, it is also acclaimed  as one of  the  finest examples of  massive  stone  construction  in America.  It is considered by many as one of the true wonders of the world.

 For more than 50 years it has been a landmark of South  Florida, and  Leedskalnin has become  a legendary figure.  Thus, although he never again saw the girl who inspired  him,  the  Coral  Castle  of  South Florida stands as  a  monument  for  all to see and  marvel  at  the  genius, imagination and skill of this strange but brilliant man.

The source of the experience

Leedskalnin, Edward

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items


Activities and commonsteps



Extreme emotion
Unrequited love