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The Ideal Palace of Postman Ferdinand Cheval

Ferdinand Cheval was a postman from France who spent 33 years building the “Ideal Palace” in Hauterives. The Palace is regarded as an extraordinary example of naïve art architecture. It all began when he was walking his post route and found a stone that he thought had an inspiring shape. Over the next 33 years Cheval collected stones during his walks, first puttting them in his pockets, then a basket. and finally a wheelbarrow. He spent the first 20 years building the outer walls, binding the stones together with lime, mortar and cement.

Cheval wanted to be buried in the palace and so when he had finished he proceeded to build himself a mausoleum. It took him eight years to complete, and a year upon completion he passed away and was buried in the mausoleum.


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