Le Palais idéal du Facteur Cheval, or "The Ideal Palace of the Postman Cheval," is a famous landmark in France located in the town of Hauterives, about 60 miles southeast of Lyon. It is famous for its unique and unusual architecture, which was entirely built by a postman named Ferdinand Cheval over a period of 33 years, from 1879 to 1912.
The palace is made of stones, pebbles, shells, and other materials that Cheval found during his daily mail delivery route. He collected these materials and used them to create the palace, which is an eclectic mix of different architectural styles and motifs, including Gothic, Hindu, and Egyptian.
Today, the palace is a popular tourist attraction, drawing visitors from all over the world. Visitors can explore the various chambers and levels of the palace, each of which is adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures created by Cheval himself.
In addition to visiting the palace, there are several other things to do in the area. Nearby, you can find the Jardin Ferroviaire, a railway garden featuring miniature trains and landscapes. You can also visit the Musée de la Chaussure, a shoe museum located in the nearby town of Romans-sur-Isère.
Overall, Le Palais idéal du Facteur Cheval is a fascinating and unique landmark that is well worth a visit for anyone interested in architecture, art, or history
Le Palais ideal which translates to the “Ideal Palace” in French was built by Ferdinand Cheval (1836-1924) who spent thirty-three years of his life building it in Haut rives. Even though it is independent of any artistic trend and built according to no architectural rules, Le Palais ideal has continued to inspire artists for more than a century. The Surrealists have always admired the Ideal Palace and it is regarded as an Outsider Art Work (any work of art produced by an untrained idiosyncratic artist). His work is considered to be an exceptional example of architecture.
Meticulously designed pillars, buttresses, and grottoes classify the Palace which is 26m long and 10m wide. Ferdinand Cheval tripped on a peculiar pebble on his mail route and was so fascinated by it that it reminded him of his dream 15 years back, and thus he decided to build Le Palais ideal. While his neighbors used to criticize and mock his work, it couldn’t stop him from continuing his building. However, that opinion changed very soon when he completed his masterpiece!