The same mysterious force that created Stonehenge and the Mayan crop circles of Giza helped us conjure today’s Groupon: for $5, you’ll get entry to the curious creation known as the Coral Castle Museum, a $9.75 value. Children under 6 are free, and children 7 to 12 are the same as the Groupon price—$5. Singlehandedly carved from 1,100 tons of coral rock over the course of 28 years, this megalithic South Florida monument is still baffling sightseers some 60 years after its completion.
Just as enigmatic as how the Castle was built is why it was built. Most people assume it had something to do with Edward Leedskalnin, a Latvian immigrant with a fourth-grade education and a few stonemasonry skills, getting jilted by his true love the day before their wedding. Ed, like most of us, poured his heartbreak into cutting and moving huge blocks of coral rock using only hand tools and agony. For 28 years, Ed labored secretly by lantern light, until his death in 1951. When asked by visitors how a five-foot-tall man weighing 100 pounds had built a castle out of 58-ton blocks of stone by himself, Ed would only reply, "It's not difficult if you know how."
A testament to the surprising industrial power of heartbreak, this magnificent structure is full of wonder and curiosities, starting with the entry gate. It’s a nine-ton feat of delicate balancing that a push of the finger can set in motion. While exploring the grounds, you can sit and rest in a number of chairs carved into the shape of crescent moons, or eat a picnic lunch at a table shaped like the state of Florida, effectively allowing you to pretend to be megagiants wading waist-high around the protruding peninsula. The grounds also feature a working Polaris telescope, fountain, and sundial, for all your antiquated astronomical needs. To make sure you don’t miss anything, you can rely on a tour guide to give you all the details, or opt to use the audio stands for a tour at your own pace. Take a preview tour using this gallery of photographs, which were also carved out of stone.
Coping With Heartbreak
If building a massive stone monument of your own isn’t an option, this list of coping tips will help you get over your own heartbreak, job loss, or pet escape:
- Signify a new beginning by getting a provocative haircut like “The Admiral’s Hat,” “The Bart Simpson,” or “The Rachel 2.0.”
- Focus on a personal goal you couldn’t before, like writing the great American novel, or usurping the throne of your LARP group.
- Write the name of your lost love on a piece of paper. Tie that piece of paper to a balloon and release. Shoot balloon with a 12-gauge Mossberg 500 Roadblocker.
- Take any reminders of your lost love and burn them. Then sprinkle the ashes on a baby panda to make it sneeze. Still sad?
- Promise to do anything to get him or her back, and then immediately regret it.
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“It is such great wonder that Edward, the lone builder of Coral Castle, did this amazing feat for love. WOW!!!”
“amazing place..........guides were extremely knowledgeable and engaging!”
“Great place and really neat design. Its a great addition if you're going to be in Homestead for the day!”
28655 S Dixie Hwy
Homestead, Florida 33033Get Directions