When I think of monumental love I think of; the Shah Jahan, Mumtaz-ul-Zamani, Edward Leeskalnin and Agnes Skuvst. You may not know these people by these names, but you will know of them when I say, “Taj Mahal” and the song “Sweet Sixteen” by Billy Idol in honor of Coral Castle. Both monuments were built by men in honor of the “loves of their lives.”
The Taj Mahal in Agra, India was built by the Shah Jahan for his third and favored wife. For him it was love at first sight: she was fourteen (14) and he was (15). He saw her in the marketplace. Her name at that time was Arjumand Benu Begum, she was a Princess of Persia/Iranian. They married in 1612. Shah Jahan then became emperor in 1628 and reigned until 1658. When she moved into the royal palace he gave her the title of Mumtaz Mahal which means “Jewel of the Palace.” She was a woman of great ambitions and a very good chess player. She gave birth to fourteen (14) children, dying in childbirth on the fourteenth.
Why the Taj Mahal?
In 1631, upon her deathbed he promised her; he would never remarry and would build the richest mausoleum over her grave. It took twenty-two (22) years, more than 1,000 elephants, 30 or more oxen, 20,000 people and 32 million Rupee, which is equal to 400 million U.S. dollars. It is the largest mausoleum in the world and is a masterpiece of classical symmetry. It is considered one of the seven/eight wonders of the world. It was constructed by architects, who for the money, agreed to never create another structure. The finest architects in the fields of Islamic, Ottoman, Indian and Persian styles agreed to these terms thus creating the Mughal style and this enduring monument. It looms on the South bank of the Yamuna River, is 50 meters above the water level and stands at 180 feet tall. In 1666 Shah Jahan died and was buried next to his wife.
Rock Gate aka Coral Castle
The Rock Gate aka Coral Castle is in Leisure City/Homestead, Florida. It was built by Edward Leedskalnin for Agnes Skuvst. They were to wed; she was sixteen (16) and he was twenty-six (26). Edward affectionately called her “Sweet Sixteen.” On the eve of their wedding Edward was spurned by Agnes. They corresponded for a while when Edward came to America, then Agnes married another. Edward was forever waiting for Agnes.
Why Coral Castle?
For twenty-eight (28) years Edward built Coral Castle as a testimony to Agnes. He built it from thousands of tons of porous sedimentary rock (Oolite limestone). He single-handedly quarried and sculpted such things as; tables, chairs, obelisks, monoliths, water fountains, sun dials, walls, tubs, crescent moons and more. Edward was a man of 100 pounds and standing in at 5 feet. He made an entrance gate that weighs in at over nine (9) tons, is eight (8) feet tall, revolves and swung with just a push from a fingertip. Edward said; “that he had discovered the secret of the Pyramids.” It is believed that he used a technique called “reverse magnetism.” He used the most basic of tools like; picks, wrenches, ropes and pulleys. It was definitely a feat. Edward died from a kidney infection in 1951 never marrying.
Young, Lasting Love - Monumental Love
The Taj Mahal and Coral Castle monuments were built on young love that was a lasting love - Monumental Love.
You can see a video of Coral Castle at my website: www.grandmasattic-antiques.com look under the pictures tab.