France is one of the top tourist destinations of the world. It boasts an incredibly history that can be relived by entering its majestic cathedrals or walking down the halls of its incredible palaces. However, one palace stands out from the rest. It is not a solemn witness of history, having been built centuries ago. Instead, it is the result of the 33 years of art and devotion. Palais Ideal is a pebble palace created by Ferdinand Cheval.
The creator of Palais Ideal was a French postman that had no formal training in architecture or art. As he walked along his mail route, he collected oddly shaped rocks that he later used to put together his incredible masterpiece. Everything started as a hobby as Cheval liked collecting pebbles that stood out in one way or another. However, in 1879 the hobby started taking a greater shape.
In his journal, the artist wrote: “In a dream I had built a palace, a castle or caves. I told no one about it for fear of being ridiculed and I felt ridiculous myself. I said to myself: since Nature is willing to do the sculpture, I will do the masonry and the architecture.” His work was finished in 1912, 33 years after he had started it. To sum up the experience of creating the palace, Cheval carved on its walls “The dream of one man.”
Nowadays, the pebble palace is considered “one of the most magnificent amateur architectural structures to date.” Those who wish to visit the castle can find it in Hauterives, a town in southeastern France. Palais Ideal is open all year round for visits and sometimes is used as a special venue for concerts and exhibitions.
What do you think of this amazing DIY creation? Would you like to visit the pebble palace one day?
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