Valentine’s Day may be over, but the love story behind South Florida’s Coral Castle still might make you cry. In the early 1900s, a man named Edward in Latvia fell in love with a woman named Agnes, to whom he affectionately referred as his Sweet Sixteen. However, just one day before they were to marry, Agnes canceled their wedding and left Ed heartbroken.
Ed set off for America, where he ultimately built his Coral Castle in dedication to his beloved Agnes. The castle, constructed out of more than 1,000 tons of coral, is located in Homestead, Florida (south of Miami) and is still an incredible sight to behold.
Back in November, my family and I made the trek down to Homestead, where we had the chance to tour the Coral Castle for ourselves. For $18 admission, visitors receive a tour of the castle and have the opportunity to learn about the mystery behind it. Ed was just 5 feet tall and constructed the castle using only basic tools, but nobody truly knows how he managed to move the coral to build it. (Some even theorize that he was an alien!)
Although his education was limited, Ed incorporated various scientific principles into his work. The castle grounds include a telescope, an accurate sundial, an obelisk, a barbecue, furniture, a water well, and even thrones.
No one truly knows how the castle was formed, as most of the construction seemed to happen at night, but the mystery is a part of what makes this home so unique. When visitors arrive, they can hop on the tour at any point, as it circles around the entire castle and will eventually wind back up where visitors first joined in. We experienced two different guides during our tour, and each has his or her own unique spin and theory on how Ed was able to construct this unique castle that he called home.
For those planning a trip down to Miami, Coral Castle is an absolute must-see and a hidden gem that you should be sure to add to your itinerary.
Have you visited the Coral Castle? What was your favorite part of the experience? Sound off in the comments below!