Le Palais Idéal

Le-Palais-IdealLe Palais Idéal is an intricate castle made of stones that are bound together with concrete, lime and wire, located in Hauterives, France. The palace was built over a 34 year period by Ferdinand Cheval, a French postman who collected many of the stones as he walked his daily mail route. Upon retiring from the postal service, Cheval started the massive project often working all night long by the light of an oil lamp until its completion 34 years later.

A incredible example of naive art architecture, Cheval combined architectural styles from various time periods and countries with inspirations from Hindu mythology and the Bible. The palace was declared a cultural landmark by the French Minister of Culture in 1969 and is now open every day except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. It is visited by over 120,000 people annually.

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IMAGES VIA: Melisande*, QbiT, Melisande* and Melisande* on flickr