Coral Castle is truly a monument to the uniqueness of Miami! This attraction was built by a Latvian-born Miami resident named Ed Leedskalnin as a monument to his lover. After 28 years of effort, he introduced his 1100-ton coral creation to the world. It's a bit of a trip from downtown, but well worth the time.
One of Florida's oldest operating attractions, Coral Castle is a monument to unrequited love. In 1923 an eccentric Latvian immigrant, Edward Leedskalnin, began hauling tons of coral onto his property. He carved it into a house and all the furniture he needed. For seven years he worked alone building this tribute to 'Sweet Sixteen,' a young girl who jilted him back in the old country.
Using primitive homemade tools, Leedskalnin carved massive objects including a heart-shaped table recorded in Ripley's Believe it or Not as the 'World's Biggest Valentine.' Other huge pieces in the property's courtyard include a Florida-shaped table, a throne that rocks, a sundial that tells time, a bird bath table, a fountain, and enormous coral chairs.
Inside the house, visitors can view Leedskalnin's bathtub, bed, reclining chair, and other creature comforts he knocked out of coral blocks. According to the tour brochure, his most outstanding achievement is the 9-ton coral gate. The brochure says it can be moved with one finger. The biggest curiosity is how the spurned lover was able to move these several ton objects without using modern hauling equipment. Leedskalnin said he knew the secrets used to build the ancient pyramids. He must have had some special power to create this monument himself.
A 30-minute audio tape for self-guided tours gives details about the strange dwelling. Coral Castle is located in Homestead, the center of south Florida's fruit and nursery production and gateway to Everglades National Park.
Hours Daily 7am-8pm
Address 28655 S. Dixie Hwy
Transportation Take 836 West (Dolphin Expwy.) toward Miami International Airport. Merge onto 826 S. (Palmetto Expwy.) and take it to the Florida Turnpike toward Homestead. Take the 288th St. exit (no. 5) and then take a right on S. Dixie Hwy., a left on SW 157th Ave., and then a sharp left back onto S. Dixie Hwy. Coral Castle is on the left side of the street
Web site: www.coralcastle.com
Prices Admission $9.75 adults, $6.50 seniors, $5 children 7-12