Edward Leedskalnin and his Coral Palace


Edward Leedskalnin (1886 – 1951), a modest official, Latvian immigrant, 5 feet tall and weighing only 40 pounds, suffering from tuberculosis, once said “I have discovered the secrets of the pyramids. I discovered how the ancient Egyptians and builders in Peru, Yucatan and Asia, with simple tools, have lifted stones weighing tons “… and his castle (built out of coral rock in blocks of up to 30 tons) is irrefutable proof.

He was abandoned by his fiancé (Agnès Skuvst) because he was too poor and too old. He arrived in the US in 1920 when he was 34 years old. His failed love life led him to retire from social life and he devoted his entire life to work. His disease made him settle in Florida in Florida City, where he worked for 16 years and raised his masterpiece (1920-1936).

With tools crafted from auto parts he raised and processed the huge blocks of stone working mostly at nights using a flashlight as a light source. The finished blocks were placed with amazing precision.

The amount of rock used was estimated at 1,000 tons, plus 100 tons for furniture and other objects.

Another important moment (1936) was moving the entire complex from Florida City to Homestead, at a distance of 16 km, because a factory was being built nearby and Leedskalnin claimed it would threaten his privacy. According to some researchers, he made this decision for another reason, namely that the second location would allow him to use the telluric force of that area!

He moved the huge blocks on his own and placed them with great care so that all the parts had the same position in the complex. The blocks were not cemented, but were perfectly combined. Many witnesses saw a truck carrying boulders, but nobody noticed how they loaded or unloaded. Leedskalnin worked only in the dark of the night. The whole operation of moving more than 1,000 tons, piece by piece, and reassembling them lasted less than a month!

The swing gate is so well balanced that the push of a finger is enough to make it pivot on its axis. The walls, built in 1940, are 3m high. The tower was the only closed structure of the complex. The bedroom has two beds for children, a swing, a table with the shape of Florida’s State and a sink that includes an outline of the Okeechobee Lake. There are no electrical installations, no pipes or cables.

Image by Monica/Flickr

Image by Monica/Flickr

Leedskalnin led a very austere life, ate sardines, biscuits, eggs and milk. His fruits and vegetables were cultivated in a small garden.

Ed Leedskalnin, creator of the Coral Castle

Ed Leedskalnin, creator of the Coral Castle

After his death, the castle is a tourist attraction even though the owner changed several times. Every year 65,000 visitors are amazed in front of the huge stone blocks. Everyone wonders how he worked, what techniques he used and what was his discovery…

Location: 28655 S. Dixie Hwy, 28655 S. Dixie Hwy., Homestead, Florida

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