Buddy The Traveling Monkey Coral Castle

A Coral Castle Made By A Broken Heart

We’ve all had our hearts broken. But each of us has dealt with it in our own way. Edward Leedskalnin coped by creating a castle made of coral.


Buddy The Traveling Monkey Coral Castle


When I first moved back to Miami a year ago, one of my goals was to rediscover my hometown. While going through a Florida guidebook, I came upon the story of Ed and the incredible structures he built and I was immediately intrigued. And I felt so bad for him!!


Buddy The Traveling Monkey Coral Castle


You see, Ed got dumped by his fiancée Agnes a day before they were supposed to get married. And he never quite got over it. Originally from Latvia, he eventually settled in South Florida due to his tuberculosis and the better weather conditions.


Buddy The Traveling Monkey Coral Castle
This table looks a lot like Florida!


From 1923 to 1951, he worked on the many sculptures and the surrounding walls of Coral Castle, all a testimony to his undying love for Agnes. The craziest part about the whole thing, is that no one knows how he did it. Ed was just over 5 feet tall and weighed 100 pounds. Some of the carvings weighed tons! Plus, he only worked at night so no one ever saw him. This was at a time when there was no large machinery and all he used were hand tools. So how did he do it? When asked, all Ed would say was that he understood the laws of weight and leverage and that he knew the secrets of the pyramids.


Buddy The Traveling Monkey Coral Castle
The original gate is no longer in use. It ways 9-tons but could easily swing by just the push of a hand.
Buddy The Traveling Monkey Coral Castle
Rocking chair
Buddy The Traveling Monkey Coral Castle
Working sundial
Buddy The Traveling Monkey Coral Castle
Buddy The Traveling Monkey Coral Castle
Water fountain
Buddy The Traveling Monkey Coral Castle
Ed lived in this one room on the corner of the grounds


Walking around the grounds, it really was remarkable to think that someone made all those sculptures by hand. And many of them were love or marriage themed, which made me wonder how Ed was feeling or what he was thinking as he carved them.


Buddy The Traveling Monkey Coral Castle
Two beds and a crib in the background
Buddy The Traveling Monkey Coral Castle
These two chairs face each other so quarreling lovers can patch things up
Buddy The Traveling Monkey Coral Castle
The top of a heart shaped table that weighs five thousand pounds

Buddy The Traveling Monkey Coral Castle


So what do you think of Ed and Miami’s own mini version of the Taj Majal?


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  1. I attended college in Florida and often made the 6-hour drive down to Homestead. I remember the first time I saw the Coral Castle while driving back to my hostel. My friends and I immediately pulled a U-turn and had to stop and visit. It’s amazing what one man can do with a little physics.

    1. Hi Jennifer! It really is pretty amazing! What college did you go to? I went to UF for a year 🙂

  2. Carol Colborn says:

    We were in Miami in 2012. We should have seen this! Your photos give a good look of the place but it would have been good to meet Ed. It sounds like you did. Would have loved to hear more about him and his story!

    1. Hi Carol! Not much is known about Ed since he was a very private person. But he was definitely a very interesting man!

  3. What a sad story but what an amazing castle he made! It is fascinating the strength and inspiration people get when an event in their life occurs. Looks like a beautiful place to explore though, he did a great job!

    1. Hi Samantha! Yes, it’s amazing how we can react to different events in our lives. Ed’s story was a sad one, but it left a beautiful monument for us all to share.

    1. Hi Chrysoula! Yes, a very sad story. Ed never married and always spoke of Agnes…

    1. Hi Jennifer! No one will ever know. Of course, some people think aliens helped him… 😉

  4. Wow this is in Miami? I haven’t been giving Miami enough credit – had just of just written it off honestly as drunks on a beach 😀 Will definitely have to re-consider my position as this looks like a really fascinating attraction!

    1. Hi Megan! Yeah, there’s a lot more to Miami, you just have to look. I’m really enjoying exploring my hometown! 🙂

  5. I LOVE places like this! I’m particularly amazed at how one person working alone could do all of this. I think I read about it for the first time in a book called “Weird U.S.”–if you haven’t perused it and you like slightly strange/ unique places, I highly recommend getting a copy. 🙂

  6. Sounds more like an obsession than love, but who knows? Maybe it was truly a broken heart. I wonder what became of Agnes? Interesting tale. Thanks.

    1. Supposedly she was invited to see the grounds, but she never went.

  7. Florida is great for quirky and unusual attractions, I love it!

  8. This is so fantastic! I’ve never heard of this before and that Ed guy sounds like a super interesting character. Thank you for sharing this!

  9. Hola 🙂 How interesting – and sad, like everyone says. Can’t believe I never stopped to check it out. Great pics!

  10. That’s an awesome place. Thanks for telling us all about this. I’ve been to Homestead but would never have thought this place existed there. I’ll have to check it out. I find it fascinating he could carve all that without smoothing each piece out.

    I really enjoyed the sundial picture. To craft something like that as a monument to time and to be standing all these years later is amazing. There might not be much known about him but it’s easy to see that his creations speak volume.

    1. Hi Mark! It really is an amazing place. I hope you’re able to see it for yourself one day.

      1. Hopefully we will get a chance to see this place while we are housesitting here in Homestead. Perfect opportunity but curious timing with the whole COVID situation. Homestead is starting to look like there’s a lot more to this unassuming town than what’s off the Highway 1.

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