Many times ago I saw in a magazine a reportage about the French postman Ferdinand Cheval and his Ideal Palace. I was enchanted with the talent and perseverance of this man. I never forgotten him and his remarkable masterpiece. Cheval was forty-three years old when he started the foundation of the Ideal Palace, in 1879. Working alone for thirty-three years, he built a fairy-tale palace. Really, he was a remarkable men!
Vocês também poderão ler um resumo de sua história incrível, clicando Aqui e acessar o Google Tradutor.
Ferdinand Cheval was also a poet and his writings are chiseled all over the tunnels, sculptures and facades of the Palace. In the tunnel he wrote: "In creating this rock, I wanted to prove what the will can do."
Ferdinand Cheval (1836 – 19 August 1924), was a French postman (facteur in French) who spent 33 years of his life building an "Ideal Palace" (in French Palais Idéal) which is regarded as an extraordinary example of naïve art architecture. Ferdinand Cheval lived in Châteauneuf-de-Galaure, in the Drôme département of France. He had left school at the age of 13 to become a baker's apprentice but eventually became a postman. He wasn't a mason and not an architect. (Vocês poderão ler sua história em Português, Aqui)
A four-sided castle made from concrete, lime and wire, located in Hauterives, France.
CHEVAL TRIPPED OVER A STONE... One day, at the age of 43, French postman Ferdinand Cheval tripped over a stone when he was out walking. He was so inspired by that beautiful stone that he went back the next day and began collecting stones. From this day forward, Cheval embarked on a 27-year period of collecting stones. At first, Cheval carried the stones home in his pants pockets, later he used baskets and finally Cheval acquired a wheelbarrow. He scoured the countryside for days and nights at a time on his mail route, sleeping in farmhouses and under the stars. He stock-piled the stones he brought back in his yard, which convinced his neighbors that he had gone mad, but he was determined to build the castle and grottoes that had populated his dreams 15 years earlier.
A MAILMAN BY DAY AND AN ARCHITECT BY NIGHT.... Cheval was a mailman by day and an architect by night, building his palace of stones and intricately carved concrete with no assistance from anyone. It took him 34 years of continuous toil to finish his castle, which many sculptures of gods, temples, animals, pilgrims, fountains and towers. The monument's structure is 26 meters long by 14 meters wide and up to 10 meters high, with internal passages lined with sea shells and external stairs and walkways. Cheval bound the stones together with lime, mortar and cement. It is covered with inscriptions of all sorts. An inscription in the north east corner states "10,000 days, 9300 hours , 33 years of toil".
Cheval also wanted to be buried in his palace. However, since that is illegal in France, he proceeded to spend eight more years building a mausoleum for himself in the cemetery of Hauterives. Cheval died on August 19, 1924, aged 88, around a year after he had finished building it, and is buried there.
In his autobiography, Cheval wrote that his idea for the monument originated in a dream. Cheval told no one about his dream, afraid he would be ridiculed. Just prior to his death, Ferdinand Cheval began to receive some recognition from luminaries like André Breton and Pablo Picasso. In 1969, André Malraux the Minister of Culture, declared the Palace Ideal as a cultural landmark and had it officially protected.
I wrote this post with information and photos from Wikipedia, Official Website, Motorhome and Away, Claude Travels, Krintian Fiori and Gerald Therin. Thanks for all them.