Palais Ideal du Facteur Cheval, Hauterives

#1 of 320 in Things to do in Drome
Must see · Monument · Architectural Building
One day a French postman, Ferdinand Cheval, had a dream of building the perfect palace. He woke up the next morning and began his mammoth task. Thirty three years later, Palais Ideal du Facteur Cheval stands as the bizarre and remarkable obsession of one simple man. The mainstream art world dubs the palace outsider artwork that should be viewed as a curiosity. Curiosity or legitimate architecture, the sheer magnitude of the project will impress you. The design includes hand-carved images of women and men among fantastical trees, storks sitting atop columns dripping with Gaudi-esque whimsy, and tiny details all emulating nature with a rough, untrained hand. It's no mistake that you’re reminded of Picasso and Max Ernst as you wander through the palace's corridors, both these artists took inspiration from Cheval's masterpiece. Plan to visit Palais Ideal du Facteur Cheval and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended Hauterives attractions using our Hauterives travel route tool.
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Palais Ideal du Facteur Cheval reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
1,663 reviews
  • A remarkable fantasy construction built over 33 years by a slightly loopy postman. It's worth the detour if you are in the Drome region of France as it is quite unique. It's called a palace, but as...  more »
  • I visited the Palais Ideal yesterday alone. I spent over an hour because I took the time to read all the information about the palace. Really interesting to find out that a postman built the palace...  more »
  • When you finally realize what to do with all the shells and stones you have been collecting over the years.... And you can take your dog in here!
  • Absolutely brilliant but exceptionally wierd place to visit. Easily keeps you fixated for hours exploring all the facets of this strange building. My kids loved it going in and out of all the tunnels and stairwells plus they had to find loads of objects as part of a fun exploration exercise.

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