If you are ever traveling down this way, you have to make time to visit the Coral Castle Museum.
Coral Castle was built by one man, Edward Leedskalnin. From 1923 to 1951, Ed single-handedly and secretly carved over 1,100 tons of coral rock, and his unknown process has created one of the world’s most mysterious accomplishments.
The castle was originally located in Florida City in the 1920’s but was moved single-handedly to it’s present location by Ed in the 1930’s.
It was a fascinating tour. When you arrive you are greeted by one of the tour guides who will direct you to join one of the on-going tours – don’t worry you won’t miss anything as it’s a circular tour and you can join and re-join as many times as you wish if you missed any part of it.
Ed was only 100 pounds and 5 feet tall but as you wander around you will be amazed at how this sleight man could maneuver large heavy and rough coral slabs to construct a selection of beds, tables, walls, his workshop and sleeping quarters.
Some of the features at the Coral Castle include a 9-ton gate that moves with just a touch of a finger, a Polaris telescope pin-pointing precisely where the north star is located and functioning rocking chairs – all made entirely of stone.
There is also the world’s largest and heaviest Valentine. The table is a perfect heart shape and weighs 5000 pounds!
The 9 ton gate is perfectly balanced and moves extremely easily. It is Ed’s amazing engineering skills that continue to baffle experts and visitors.
Ed accomplished this by drilling an eight foot longitudinal hole that precisely aligns with stone’s centre of gravity for perfect balance. The door fits within a quarter of an inch of the walls on either side. The door is so perfectly balanced that it can be easily pushed open using only a finger. How he did this remains a mystery, as even the most advanced electronic analysis equipment we have today would find it difficult to reproduce it.
Edward Leedskalnin’s life achievement, The Coral Castle, an undying testimony of his great love for Agnes Scuffs took him from 1923-1951 to complete. The only other tribute that can compare to the Coral Castle is the Taj Mahal, built over twenty years and by several thousand slaves, as monument to the King’s wife. Source: © Coral Castle Museum website
Ed was apparently extremely interested in the solar system so carved his own interpretation which does not match the order of the planets of which we know today.
From the far corner you can see Mars, Saturn, and the Crescent Moon, which Ed called the Crescent of the East.
The average weight of the stones is about 14 tons each. With these huge rocks, Ed built walls, erected a tower and a 22-ton obelisk. He made a variety of furniture including beds and rocking chairs, as well as a fountain, table, well, sundial and throne.
Please note that the main coral castle has no roof cover so sunscreen, umbrellas and rain ponchos are a good idea to have with you.
We had a sudden downpour on our visit but they have umbrellas at the ready and if yore on a a tour they will move to one of the covered parts of the castle to wait out the rain (unless, of course, you visit during rainy season then you could be in for a long wait)
You can always hide from the rain at the covered coffee shop area and then re-join the tour later, as the floor is prone to pools of water in heavy downpours.
There are options, but if you’re used to the Florida weather it’s best just to go with the flow, that way you’ll have a great time.
The Coral Castle Museum is open every day. For a map, directions and more information about Coral Castle follow the links below