Ferdinand Cheval spent 33 years building an extraordinary palace from the cobbles he collected on his daily postal route

Postman Cheval (April 19, 1836 – August 19, 1924) was a French postman who spent 33 years building an extraordinary chateau out of pebbles and boulders he collected during the daily mail route. I find it surprising that he was able to build such a fantastical building simply using the stones he found. Cheval called the structure Le Palais idéal, which means “the perfect palace”. located in HauterivesIt is now a municipality located in the department of Drôme in southeastern France.

Cheval on his palace:

“I was walking so fast when my feet hit something that made me stumble a few meters away, I wanted to know why. In a dream I built a palace, castle or caves, I can’t express it well… I said no one about it for fear of ridicule and I felt ridiculous Then fifteen years later, when I almost forgot my dream, when I hadn’t thought of it at all, my feet reminded me of it. The stone that nearly fell. I wanted to know what it was… It was a stone of such a strange shape that I put it in my pocket to admire it. Easily. The next day, I came back to the same place. I found more stones, even more beautiful. I gathered them together at once and were beaten with pleasure… It is a sandstone formed by water and hardened by the force of time. It becomes as hard as pebbles. It is a very strange statue. …that it is impossible for man to imitate him, he represents any kind of animal, any kind of caricature. I said to myself: Nature is ready to do the sculpture, I will do the building and the architecture.”

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