In 1879, at the age of 43, a postman by the name of Ferdinand Cheval began an exceptional undertaking that would greatly influence his life, and subsequently the course of art history. During one of his many travels throughout France, he stumbled upon a small stone that, due to its unique shape and form, captured his attention and sparked his imagination. Thoroughly intrigued, Cheval began collecting these rocks, wheeling them back to his garden. These stones were eventually used as the foundation to one of the most extraordinary works of architectural design ever conceived. Equipped with no previous design experience, Cheval worked by trial and error to build this stunning work of art now known as the “Palais.” Influenced in design by the Assyrian ruins and Aztec temples, Cheval used local lime mortar and pure ingenuity to create a dramatically styled design overflowing with imagination and creativity. It’s hard to believe that such a remarkable undertaking was a result of one man’s labor of love.
In 1969, the Palais was declared a national monument in France. To this day, it continues to be an inspiration to architects and artists from around the world as many travel far and wide to catch a glimpse of its beauty.