While not really a palace, and not really made of coral, it is an impressive accomplishment nevertheless.
In Homestead, located about an 11-minute drive north of the historical area, not far from Miami and off the South Dixie Highway, sits a world-famous structure called the Coral Castle.
The Coral Castle is an outdoor museum accomplished by a man named Ed Leedskalnin.
Constructed independently over the course of 28 years, Coral Castle, with its mind-bending sculpture garden carved from giant coral rock, is both a feast for the eyes and a legendary love tale about the man who created it.
While not really a palace, and not really made of coral, it is an impressive accomplishment nevertheless. In a number of types, including slab walls, desks, benches, a crescent moon, a water fountain, and a sundial, more than 1,000 tons of sedimentary rock (oolite limestone) is mined and sculpted.
For decades, the park featured a perfectly balanced stone gate that, despite its weight, would easily swing open with a strong breeze or the push of a finger. How it worked remained a mystery until 1986 when it stopped moving. When the gate was removed it was revealed that it rotated on a metal shaft and rested on a truck bearing.
Many sources claim that the castle, originally called Rock Gate Park, is scientifically inexplicable. Coral Castle is noted for legends surrounding its creation that claim it was built single-handedly by Leedskalnin using reverse magnetism or supernatural abilities to move and carve numerous stones, each weighing many tons.
Visiting Coral Castle today, tourists can discover the wonders of the achievements of Leedskalnin. A nine-ton wall, a three-ton gate that moves with the touch of an eye, a Polaris telescope, and the world's first sundial with seasons all carved out of the coral rock are highlights of his structures.
The story of Leedskalnin and his inspiration behind not only Coral Castle as a whole, but also individual buildings that still operate after almost a century, are revealed through guided tours. There are collectibles, scientific gifts, natural gems, and jewels in the exclusive gift store.
The Coral Castle is open from Sunday through Thursday from 8 am to 6 pm, as well as Friday and Saturday from 8 am to 8 pm. The structures can be toured using audio stands, with instruction available in English, Spanish, French, and German. Guided tours are also available. It is currently a privately operated tourist attraction.