Palais Ideal du Facteur Cheval, Hauterives

4.5
#1 of 319 in Things to do in Drome
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
1,481 reviews
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4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Great visit done in class with our general culture teacher. No regrets. I highly advise
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  • Awful. .... A lot of work certainly, but a work like this, everyone is able to make one in his garden .... A beautiful M........
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  • This palace which is of human size is impressive in all its details. I thought it was much bigger but that's more than enough. I think I didn't even see everything he meant in making this monument
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Google
  • 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.
  • At first we didn't quite 'get' this man's vision of a palace but once we looked,explored and read the history of it...it really is amazing. What a man. I have never seen anything like it and probably never will again. You can feel his pain of losing two of his children and his first wife in this work of art. Well worth a visit.
  • It was a nice looking building with a lot to see and discover on all sides. I didn't expect we could also enter the building, which was a nice surprise. It was a pity that one side of the building was under restauration, but nothing was mentioned on the site or at the entrance (or at least not before we paid) . All in all, I found the 7.5 euro maybe a little much.
  • Wow! This man delivered post in the morning, built his fantasy Palace in the afternoon and collected stones for his Palace by oil lamp at night. He was 77 when he finished the Palace, then started on his tomb (also worth a visit and it's only 10mins drive down the road) which he finished a year before he died. It is fantastic and great fun exploring. I suspect it won't continue to be accessible as it is in 10years as the concrete is decaying from age.
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