How a stonemason figured out the technology to build the Egyptian pyramids and built a stone castle all by himself
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There are quite a few ancient structures in the world, over the unraveling of the construction of which the scientists are still battling. But, as it turns out, in Florida, there is a complex of structures called “Coral Castle”, built already in the XX century, which also holds unsolved mysteries. It was built by stonemason Edward Lidskalnin without the use of any construction equipment. It is absolutely unclear how he could manage to handle multi-ton stone blocks by himself, and he did not share this secret with anyone.
It happened that Edward lived his life completely alone, he had no women or friends. After his beloved fiancée left him unexpectedly, Edward left Latvia and went first to Western Europe, and then to Canada, making a living from odd jobs. Having saved up some money, he bought a small piece of land in Florida, where he stayed. Its warm climate was quite suitable for his frail health. He began to realize his vision of building an oolite limestone castle there, which became the meaning of his life. Edward was very secretive, unsociable, did not take anyone to his plot, worked alone and mostly at night after sunset.
The locals, of course, were very curious about what he was doing. And one night the boys climbed up on the roof with a night vision device to spy on a neighbor. And almost fell off the roof when they saw “huge rocks floating through the air like balloons.”
When one of his neighbors planned to build a multi-story villa on his property, Edward decided to buy another plot and move. But not just move, and move in pieces and his structure. He hired a large truck for the move, and arranged with the driver that he would not be present during the loading and unloading of the lime blocks. Edward loaded the blocks himself and managed it in about three hours.
When the re-building of the relocated castle was finished, Edward began to allow tourists to come to his property, who came especially to look at the amazing buildings. He proudly showed them the finished work, and the tourists willingly paid for it, which for Edward was not unnecessary.
Many tourists, of course, were interested in the main question – how, without powerful lifting machines, alone, Edward could move, grind and install multi-ton stone blocks. Edward explained to them, “I discovered the secrets of the pyramids and how the Egyptians and the ancient builders in Peru, Yucatan and Asia, with the help of primitive tools, lifted and set stone blocks weighing many tons! “.
The huge blocks of which the walls surrounding the inner courtyard are laid on top of each other without the use of cement, all of them, just as in the Egyptian pyramids, are perfectly matched in shape to each other. There is only one gate in the wall to enter the Castle.
The door of this gate easily rotates around the vertical axis, despite the fact that it weighs as much as 9 tons. But it doesn’t require much effort to set it in motion, and even a child can open it with a light touch of a finger. Edward used the second floor of the Tower, in the corner of the courtyard, as his dwelling. He used the second floor of the Tower, which stood in a corner of the courtyard, as his living quarters. No outsiders were allowed to enter the Tower.
On the territory itself there are many different unusual structures, also made of stone.
The tallest of them is the Obelisk (more than 12 meters high, weighing 28.5 tons).
Ed shows important dates carved on the Obelisk: his year of birth; the year in which the coral castle was built and the year in which the castle was moved to its new location.
Stone sculptures of Mars, Saturn (each weighing 18 tons) and the month (30 tons) are the jewels of the area.
There is also a unique sundial which shows the time to the exact minute. They are also made of stone; it took Edward more than two years to create them.
The moon fountain is very beautiful:
And all the more surprising is that all these constructions were made by Edward with the simplest tools and devices, which, moreover, he himself made from parts from old cars found in a landfill. But, of course, it was not without some special secret of the craftsman.
In December 1951 Edward died suddenly, without revealing his secret to anyone. More than half a century has passed since his death, but this mystery still remains unsolved. American engineers once conducted an experiment – they tried to move one of the unused blocks (weighing about 30 tons), using the most powerful bulldozer for this purpose, but they failed. One of the engineers trying to solve the riddle of the master, John Pastehring, believes that Edward used block systems very precisely calculated by him and skillfully constructed. Indeed, in some photographs one can see Edward Lidskalnin lifting a giant block of stone.
In 1986 it was necessary to dismantle the gate – it stopped opening. When it was disassembled using a very powerful crane, it turned out that the door was held in place by a metal rod and two old bearings. The rod was inserted in a through hole about 5 cm in diameter, almost perfectly flat, running the entire height of the door (three meters). Today, such work can only be done with a laser. How, then, did Edward do it? In addition, it is absolutely unclear how he managed to determine with great precision the center of gravity of this enormous plate and perfectly balanced the suspension, resulting in the door opens so easily. So scientists are still very far from solving the mystery of the Coral Castle, and the answer to the question – How did Edward Lidskalnin do it all? – They still don’t have an answer.
The Coral Castle is considered to be a unique stone construction, built by only one person – the Latvian amateur sculptor Edvard Lidskalnin. It is located in the area of Leger City, near Miami, Florida.
At present, the structure is a tourist attraction and the eighth wonder of the world, which amazes not only travelers but also explorers with its stone architecture.
In 1984, according to the decision of the U.S. government, the castle was included in the National Register of Historic Landmarks. Every year it is visited by 100 thousand tourists from all over the world.
The mysterious castle was built by Edward Lidskalnin, who was born near Riga on January 12, 1887. It is known that the sculptor was poor and studied at school only till the 4th form. Then he studied stonecutting and stonemasonry.
At the age of 23 Ed left his native country and moved to London. The reason for the move was the breakdown of relations with the sculptor’s lover Agnes Scuff. The girl broke up with Lidskalnin at the insistence of his father. After a while Ed moved to Halifax, Canada, and a couple of years later he moved to the United States, where he worked in logging camps. After a while, the man fell ill with tuberculosis and decided to move to Florida. Here he settled in, and was able to take the progressive form of the disease more easily.
The castle is a symbol of unrequited love
In memory of his unrequited love, Lidskalnin began to build a castle. He himself called his construction “The Stone Gate”, but the name “Coral Castle” stuck with him much later.
The sculptor created his creation as a dwelling for family life with his beloved Agnes. As a kind of hymn to unhappy unrequited love. It is known that even now near the castle plant red roses – the favorite flowers of Ed’s beloved.
However, according to the data, the sculptor repeatedly called Agnes to his built home, but the girl never agreed to come. She did not visit the landmark even many years later, when American journalists found her and offered to come to the castle, built by Edward Lidskalnin just for her.
What Coral Castle is made of
The giant stone structures created by the emigrant are located on an area of about 200 m². The structure consists of numerous megaliths, the average weight of each of which reaches several tons. And most of them are carved from a whole stone block. The largest of them weighs about 30 tons.
The main part of the constructions is created from oolite, namely from oolite limestone formed by coral deposits. The vertical stone slabs, which are 2.4 m high each, form a wall around the perimeter. The blocks are so clearly connected that no light even passes through them at the joints.
The walls of the attraction and all the furniture inside it are made of stone blocks, connected together without using any mortar. The stones are held together only by gravity and their own weight. Everything is made so perfectly that for many decades none of the stones has moved even a millimeter.
And this entire structure was made by the hands of a single man who was far from being a bogatyr. Edward Lidskalnin was only 1 m 52 cm in height and weighed 45 kg. To this day, researchers and scientists can not find the answer to the construction of the Coral Castle.
The exterior of the castle
To get to the high-walled area, you have to go through a gigantic door, which is a 9-ton block that easily opens and closes with a single finger pressure.
The first thing that catches your eye is the unusual two-story tower. Then the eye falls on the enormous furniture: a heart-shaped table, beds, and rocking chairs made of stone.
The site is adorned by a fountain and a 12-meter obelisk, which weighs about 30 tons. It is also impossible not to notice one of the most precise telescopes in the world, pointing at the North Star. Another amazing device is a sundial carved in stone, which has been showing the exact time to the minute for about a century. Under the ground is a wonderful pool where all the rainwater goes.
The mystery of the construction of Coral Castle
Construction of the castle was held in strict secrecy. So that locals and passing tourists could not see how the process moves. The sculptor always worked alone and only after sunset.
As Lidskalnin himself explained, earlier he was able to unravel the mystery of building the legendary pyramids and learned how to move huge blocks with simple tools. But his neighbors claimed the opposite. According to them, the concrete blocks were floating in the sky on their own.
Edward died in 1952, at the age of 64, without ever revealing the secret of building the palace. After the sculptor’s death, scientists began to scrutinize the creation he had created. As an experiment a bulldozer was driven to the castle, with the help of which the researchers tried to move at least one boulder. But the idea turned out to be a failure. Not a single block moved.
In a small living room at the top of the tower, his notes – homemade pamphlets – were found. They talk about the magnetism of the Earth, the control of cosmic energy flows and other musings of the man, but no concrete explanation related to the construction of the landmark was found.
The museum doors are open to visitors every day. The ticket price includes a guided tour that takes place every half hour (there are also tours in Russian). The guide tells a lot of interesting facts.
- Adult (13 to 64 years) – $18;
- children (up to 6 years) – free of charge;
- children (7 to 12 years) – $8;
- seniors (ages 65 and older) – $16.
If you have any questions about the work of the museum or the time of tours, the administrator will advise you on the phone: + 1 (305) 248-6345. All additional information is on the official website of the castle.
The Coral Castle is available for all kinds of events, from birthdays to family celebrations. The unique setting guarantees an event that will be remembered for years to come.
Google map panorama: Coral Castle
How to get there
Coral Castle is located in the state of Florida in the United States, near the town of Homestead. The best way to get to the site is by bus, private vehicle, or cab.
There is a SW 288 St & SW 157 Av ground transportation stop not far from the castle, where the 35 bus runs. You can also drive to the attraction in a personal or rented car. There is a small parking lot nearby.
To hail a cab in Florida, we recommend using local cab services: Flamingo Taxis, Rickenbacker Taxi, Yellow Cab or Super Yellow Cab.