Edge, Travel

Miami’s Coral Castle is an eerie attraction

As if the story of a tiny, 5-foot Latvian man who somehow single-handedly lifted huge stone blocks to create a coral fort isn’t already remarkable, his castle also reveals an uncanny collection of strange, inexplicable sculptures that give life to a South Florida mystery.

Coral Castle, located just north of Homestead, offers a twisted glimpse into the bizarre and lonesome life of Edward Leedskalnin, a solitary and strange man who emigrated to America after his 16-year-old fiancé refused his love.

Leedskalnin and his castle are great enigmas, since nobody really knows how this fragile man was able to build this monolithic shrine all on his own, or even how his deadly tuberculosis disappeared a few months after he moved to Florida. According to him, his illness was partly cured due to the effects of the magnetic energy the Coral Castle area had.

Matthew Potts, a junior majoring in marketing at the University of Miami, visited the castle in search of spontaneous, fun and new things to experience. He explained that weird is sometimes cool.

“My first impression of Coral Castle was that it was extremely weird but in a cool way. I was mostly surprised that it was located in the middle of a residential neighborhood,” he said.

Surrounded by bushes, flowers and a terra cotta floor, this castle looks like a painting taken from Salvador Dali’s world. Full of psychedelic figures like crescent moons, obelisks, telescopes, sundials, bathtubs, tables and even a well, this marvel fits what seems to be normal floor plans of a regular house.

Potts was drawn in by the enigma that Coral Castle has become.

“I really enjoyed learning about the history of the castle and about the mystery behind how he moved such big pieces of rock all by himself,” he said. “It was definitely a unique experience because it’s a one-of-a-kind structure.”

It is precisely this eerie and bizarre mystery that draws most visitors into this dreamlike fortress.

Juliana Moncada, a 30-year-old tourist who considers herself a “queer” traveler, said she didn’t just stumble upon the castle. Instead, before venturing into Miami, she decided to look up the strangest things to do, and this came up.

“I didn’t really know this existed, but I came looking for it,” she said. “I’m attracted to all things eerie, and it is obvious the place itself already carries a certain unearthly hunch, so it’s a must-see.”

Some people wonder how Leedskalnin accomplished this, and for what purpose, but most simply wonder about the meaning behind the strange sculptures inside the castle grounds. Some visitors are even taken aback by the fact that such a strange and peculiar place is located in the middle of a dull suburban neighborhood.

“I really enjoyed the story behind Coral Castle as well as the structures and plants that make it up,” Potts said. “I think the castle is a mildly psychedelic place. The nature and the textures of the castle itself are probably its most psychedelic qualities. Also, the mere fact that such a strange place exists is pretty trippy.”

 

IF YOU GO:

WHAT: Coral Castle Museum

WHERE: 28655 S. Dixie Hwy., Homestead, Fla. 33033

WHEN: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday

COST: Seniors 65 and up pay $12; adults between the ages of 13 and 64 pay $15, children between 7 and 12 years old pay $7 and those under 6 years enter for free.

November 22, 2014

Reporters

Donatela Vacca


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Deidrick Stanley had his eye on the Miami Hurricanes long before his hometown school finally offered ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Tuesday: ▪ UM has only two Rivals.com five-star recruits on the ...

Even five months ago, it would’ve been hard to picture Jaylan Knighton winding up with the Miami Hur ...

UM offensive coordinator Dan Enos on Monday addressed the quarterback situation in this piece, culle ...

University of Florida big man Keith Stone, a 6-8 and 254-pound Deerfield Beach native, is heading cl ...

A former UM professor started a company dedicated to publishing books on African-American culture, h ...

A group of School of Architecture students visited the Caribbean nation to learn about the historic ...

Faculty with the Miller School of Medicine and Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science w ...

Patricia “Trish” White, dean of the School of Law, is stepping down at the end of the academic year. ...

At the annual Hug the Lake, sustainability manager Teddy Lhoutellier was honored for improving the e ...

The Hurricanes will open an eight-game homestand with a midweek matchup against crosstown FIU on Wed ...

Talking Track is a series that features current members of the Miami track and field program, while ...

The University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame announced that Trajan Bandy is the 26th recipient of the ...

Stone played in 85 career games at University of Florida. ...

The Miami women's tennis team continued its ascent up the national rankings Tuesday, moving up ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.