Cincinnatus Book Rusty McClure home page
order Cincinnatus available Novermber 1 2009
contact author rusty mcclure
Coral Castle
Leedskalnin built coral castle 1928
For more information
Coral Castle The Mystery of Ed Leedskalnin and his American Stonehenge

The grounds of Coral Castle consist of 1,100 tons of stones found in the forms of walls, carvings, furniture and a castle tower. While commonly referred to as being made up of coral, it is actually made of Oolite, aka Oolitic Limestone. Oolite is a sedimentary rock comprised with concentrations of fossilized mollusks and coral. Oolite is found throughout southeastern Florida from as north as Palm Beach County to as south as the Florida Keys. Oolite is often found beneath only several inches of topsoil such as at the Coral Castle site.

The stones are fastened together without any mortar. They are simply set on top of each other using their immense weight to keep them together. However, the craftsmanship detail is so skillful that the stones are connected with such precision that no light passes between the seams. The eight foot tall vertical stones that comprise the perimeter wall have a uniform height. Even with the passage of decades and a direct hit on August 24, 1992 by the Category 5 Hurricane Andrew, which leveled everything in the area, the stones have not shifted.

Many of the features and carvings of the castle are notable. Among them are a two-story castle tower that served as Leedskalnin's living quarters, walls consisting entirely of eight foot high pieces of coral, an accurate sun dial, a Polaris telescope, an obelisk, a barbecue, a water well, a fountain, celestial stars and planets, and numerous pieces of furniture. The furniture pieces included are a heart-shaped table, a table in the shape of Florida, twenty-five rocking chairs resembling crescent moons, a bathtub, beds and a royal throne.

Leedskalnin built coral castle 1928

What is most remarkable about the contents of the Coral Castle is the massive size of the stones used throughout the construction. Even more so when you consider the assembly was performed by one man with crude tools. With few exceptions, the objects are made from single pieces of stone. The stones on average weigh more than the stones found in the Pyramids of Egypt. The largest stone weighs 30 tons, which is over three times the size of the heaviest stone found in the Great Pyramid of Giza. Leedskalnin may have well been aware of this as the 30 ton stone is capped by a stone that closely resembles the gabled roof of the King's Chamber in the Pyramid of Khufu. Two of the stones are monolithic and stand twenty-five feet high above the ground which make them taller than any stone found in Stonehenge.

A nine-ton revolving gate is the most famous structure of the castle and was documented on TV's In Search Of..., and That's Incredible. The gate is carved so precisely that it fits within a quarter of an inch of the walls on both sides. It was so well-balanced that a child could open it with the push of a single finger. The mystery of the gate's perfectly balanced axis and the amazing ease it revolved lasted for decades until the gate suddenly stopped working in 1986. At that time, a team of engineers was brought in for consultation. In order to remove the gate, six men and a fifty ton crane were utilized. Once the gate was removed, the engineers discovered how Leedskalnin had centered and balanced the nine-ton piece of rock. Leedskalnin had drilled a hole from top to bottom of the eight-foot-tall gate with no electric tolls and inserted a metal shaft. The rock rested on an old truck bearing. It was the rusting out of this bearing that resulted in the gate's failure to revolve. The nine-ton gate, complete with new bearings, and a replaced shaft, was lifted and set back into place on July 23rd, 1986. The gate worked as it did before but once again in 2005 it ceased revolving and has yet to be repaired.