Driving south from Miami on Route 1 near Homestead I first encountered an old fashioned sign that looks like a tourist postcard from the 1950s. The entrance of the place is authentic kitsch. I was reminded of a traveling sideshow where a bearded lady might be the attraction. There is a box at the front turnstile that looks like a prop from a Buck Rogers movie. There you can hear a message from The Coral Castle's creator in 5 languages, as well as an offer of a walking tour of this very remarkable garden, which was originanlly known as the Rock Gate Garden.
aaaBeyond the tawdry entrance, the extraordinary site of massive multi ton carvings of coral greets you. All of this done by one 97lb man named Edward Leedskalnin. He came to Florida from Latvia in the 1920s. He was a gentle man, with not much to say. All who came in contact with him remarked on his kindness and solitary ways. It is claimed he built this monument to his unrequited love, his sweet sixteen.
Geometry, Feng Shui, Earth spirits and the secrets the ancient Egyptians used to build the pyramids came to my mind here. I considered the phenomenon of material levitation. The planet Saturn, the moon, a sundial, a heart shaped table and coral rocking chairs, are a few of the icons that caught my attention at The Coral Castle. No one knows how this place was created by an unassisted man, although many concepts and theories have been applied to Mr. Leedskalnin's uncommon garden. He wrote several pamphlets having to do with what he called magnetic currents. Some people who have studied The Cora Castle believe he experimented with magnets to move these tremendous stones without the aid of machinery. In his writings, he alluded to the fact that he might have used solar energy to move these boulders. How did he defy gravity by moving over one thousand tons of rocks?
aaaYou can sit in the thrones that lead up to the sculptures of the three phases of the moon. You will feel like the King or Queen of Mr. Leedskalnin's mystical universe. In this celestial observatory there are 25 chairs aligned to gaze out at the heavens. A twenty-five foot tall telescope, albeit without a lens is aligned perfectly to view the North Star, Polaris.
in the shape of Florida and a giant Valentine suggests that dining at this sacred
place could a pagan celebration feast. The
sundial corresponds to the winter and summer solstice, December 21st and June
21st. The birdbath is actually three concentric circles of 124 inches, 62 inches
and 18 inches in diameter. These number refer to the measurements of the solar
system and Mercury, Venus, the Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune,
and Pluto's relation to it.
current caretaker ofThe Coral Castle is a lady named Linda. If you go there and
ask her the right questions, he will answer with curious tales of this
unique place. Today, a Chicago businessman owns The Coral Castle who bought it
in 1983 as a wedding present for his bride.