Le Palais idéal – Hauterives, France

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Contributor: Samy Barkat.

Where is it 8 Rue Du Palais, 26390 Hauterives, France
What is it Ferdinand Cheval was a French postman who spent 33 years of his life building Le Palais idéal (the “Ideal Palace”) in Hauterives. The Palace is regarded as an extraordinary example of naïve art architecture.April 1879. During one of his rounds, Ferdinand Cheval, rural postman, 43, stumbles against such an odd stone that it awakes a dream. A true autodidact, he devotes 33 years of his life to build a dream palace in his garden alone. His inspiration comes from nature, postcards and the very first illustrated magazines.During his daily country rounds of about 18 miles, and with the help of this faithful wheelbarrow, Cheval used to pick up the stones used for the construction. Alone, misunderstood, he writes down on his building “The work of one man”. His dream palace finally gets completed in 1912.
Main attractions In the heart of a flourishing garden, Cheval created an uninhabitable palace populated by an incredible bestiary: octopus, hind, caiman, elephant, pelican, bear, birds, as well as giants, fairies, mythological figures or architectures from all the continents. An architectural work as unclassifiable as universal.
Psychedelic Merit Unique in the world, the Ideal Palace has inspired artists for more than a century. Independent from any artistic trend, and built with no architectural rules, the Ideal Palace has been admired by the Surrealists and is considered as an Outsider Art work. In 1969 it was classified as an Historical Monument by André Malraux, the French Minister for Cultural Affairs at that time.
Comments The Ideal Palace welcomes you the entire year, including Sundays and bank holidays.* It is located at the heart of the village of Hauterives near the council building’s square, on a pleasant and safe garden which is about 10,800 square feet. Allow for approximately 45 minutes for the visit.*excepted on the following dates : closed on December 25th and from January 15th to January 30th.
Links Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinand_ChevalVisitor’s Center: http://www.facteurcheval.com/home.html

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