Coral Castle is one of the most visited places in Florida and is the most modern monolithic complex in the world, made with calcareous oolite. Commonly mistakenly believed to be made of coral, it is made with oolite, a sedimentary rock composed of small spherical grains of concentrically layered carbonate that may include localized concentrations of fossil shells and coral. Castle’s story is very interesting, still today shrouded in mystery.
It all began in 1923 when Edward Leedskalnin, at the age of thirty-eight, moved to Florida in search of a warmer climate than that of Oregon, where he previously resided, to treat an allegedly terminal tuberculosis.
The man, a native of Latvia, arrived in the States at the age of 29. It is said that the main cause of his transfer to the West from his native land had been a terrible disappointment in love, that he had left no way out for depression and his desire to escape: it seems that Agnes Skuvst (often misspelled as “Scuffs”), his girlfriend of ten years younger, had an afterthought the day before the wedding, breaking Edward’s heart.
Poor Edward thus began to travel furiously through Europe, Canada and the United States and then, struck by a bad tuberculosis which put a strain on his health, in 1918 he decided to settle definitively in a place with a mild climate: Florida.
A few miles south of Miami, near Florida City, Edward identified an area suitable for his eclectic project and began to build a work that he hoped would be talked about, to the point that the news could reach his beloved Agnes, who hoped, would be back to him.
Equipped only with a few lanterns and a few manual objects that he used as a child, when he helped his father with the work of stonemason, in 1923 he started the construction of what was called the Rock Gate Park, now known as Coral Castle: about 1,100 tons of rock were raised by the man to erect those monoliths that would have been part of the stone village he wanted to dedicate to his former girlfriend. The man, who never allowed anyone to enter his building site, always worked alone, and far from prying eyes.
Thus, progressively, where there was just an endless land, the walls of the structure appeared, composed of coral blocks and surrounding a complex of fascinating masterpieces: an obelisk of just over 22 tons, a crescent-shaped rock, the Jupiter Rock, dedicated to the planet, the Saturn Rock, a rocking chair, also made of stone, puzzles and coral mosaics, but also two tables (the Feast of Love, in the shape of a heart, dedicated to the beloved woman, and the Florida State Table), a lookout tower, with Edward’s own house inside, and an area dedicated to barbecues and refreshment, composed of a pressure cooker made from the remains of a car, inserted in a coral chimney still today tested by curious and hungry tourists.
However, one of the most interesting elements is a stone obelisk that functions as a revolving door, located at the entrance of the structure, from which every visitor is required to pass. In 1986, the breaking of the gate required the intervention of six men and a 50-ton crane, to be able to remove it and try to repair it. However, every attempt was in vain: the piece of rock had been perfectly balanced by its inventor, as if it had been made with a perforator at laser speed of those used today, and no one was able to reproduce a such a contraption.
The same precision was found in the planetary structures that make up the architectural complex of the garden, all perfectly oriented according to precise dates of the year. This is the case, for example, of the Polaris Telescope, a stone block about 8 meters high, which allowed Edward to follow the path of the Earth around the Sun and build a sundial, calibrated on the basis of the two solstices.
The Moon Fountain, instead, indicated the various phases of the moon, through the three coral rocks of which it is composed: two crescent moons positioned vertically, which flank the full moon, fixed horizontally in the center, in which Edward stared at a six-pointed star increasing the water jet with an irrigation pump. As for the two tables, the Feast of Love, characteristic for its heart shape, housed, for more than fifty years, a vase of Ixora, a shrubby plant that had the role of ornament along the stone surface while the Florida State Table, 6 meters long and surrounded by 10 chairs, perfectly reproduces the shape and proportions of the State of Florida.
Edward worked on the Coral Castle project for about twenty years (from the 1920s to the 1940s) and, in 1936, when the construction of new building lots in the vicinity of his work threatened his privacy, he suddenly decided to transfer the whole establishment elsewhere: the stone city was then moved to the town of Homestead, where the man had purchased 10 acres of land, a short walk from the South Dixie Highway.
The latter locality, according to various testimonies, was the site of sightings, on the part of numerous children playing in those parts, of huge blocks of stone floating in the air “like hydrogen balloons”, while the man, singing, he raised them with the simple gesture of his hands.
The driver who accompanied Edward on the journey of transporting the piles of stone declared that one day, as soon as he arrived in Florida City, he parked the truck near the village. Edward, therefore, asked the driver to be left alone, during the transfer of the stone masses in the mean of transport. The driver, who had forgotten his meal on the truck, after walking away, came back, discovering, with wonder, that the monoliths had already all been put on the vehicle in a few minutes.
In fact, the entire castle was moved from Edward with the help of a friend, several winches and an old truck, an operation that involved the man for about 3 years.
Over time, many attempts have been made by scientists and engineers to reconstruct locations similar to those created by the Latvian man, in the hope of capturing its secrets and mechanisms. In the seventies, some Coral Castle scholars attempted to reproduce the eponymous structure by digging a 30-ton block of coral stone, but the bulldozer used to lift the monoliths failed to lift even a part of it.
At that point, they decided to rely on the writings published by Edward himself, who during his lifetime had written the manuscript “Magnetic Current”, concerning his research: a series of prescriptions and norms described by him highlighted, in the text, his incredible awareness of magnetism theories. The author, in his pages, declared to know the secrets related to the pyramids of ancient Egypt and to the builders that in Peru, Yucatan and Asia, with the only help of rudimentary tools, had raised and positioned blocks of stone many tons heavy. However, he never disclosed these mysteries.
After years of investigations, it was discovered that Edward had erected the Coral Castle site in respect of a cartography of the terrestrial globe known since the time of the Egyptians and Babylonians, based on an invisible outline of energy lines, today called Ley Lines. These lines would connect archaeological sites and sacred places, all built near particular energy points, to form a coordinate map called World Grid.
In this regard, the scientist Bruce Cathe, author of the book “The Energy Grid”, argued that Edward Leedskalnin had established the precise site of construction of the stone village near ideal Ley Lines ideal for manipulating the energy of the earth’s gravitational motion, using some geometric techniques.
The same techniques that, centuries before, may have contributed to the creation of the pyramids, but also of Stonehenge itself, a circular complex of monoliths that legend has it was miraculously transferred, floating in the air, from Ireland to England, by the work of Merlin the magician.
Regarding the woman to whom Coral Castle was dedicated, there is no concrete proof that Agnes Skuvst had actually abandoned her boyfriend on the eve of marriage. Furthermore, the writer Joe Bullard, in his biographical book entitled “Waiting for Agnes”, claims that some people managed to track down Agnes, at the age of eighty, in Holland, but that she, following some questions, declared that she had no interest in the stone village or its builder.
The famous singer Billy Idol, fascinated by Coral Castle and his legend, composed the song “Sweet Sixteen” inspired by the unrequited love story.
“Sweet Sixteen” was the nickname that Edward, as a young man, had given to his Agnes, and the author wrote into music the vicissitudes of the injured-hearted builder.
However, it seems that Edward’s “Sweet Sixteen” was more an ideal than a reality. According to a Latvian account, the girl existed, but her name was actually Hermīne Lūsis.
Edward became ill in November 1951, and died twenty-eight days later of a kidney infection at the age of 64.
While the property was being investigated, US$3,500 (equivalent to $33,784 in 2018) was found among his personal belongings. He had made his income from conducting tours, selling pamphlets about various subjects (including magnetic currents) and the sale of a portion of his 10-acre property for the construction of U.S. Route 1.
The Coral Castle, currently open to visitors, is one of Florida’s major attractions for mystery hunters from all over the world and not only. Its website states that, “If anyone ever questioned Ed about how he moved the blocks of coral, Ed would only reply that he understood the laws of weight and leverage well.” He also stated that he had “discovered the secrets of the pyramids”, referring to the Great Pyramid of Giza.
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