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Palais Ideal du Facteur Cheval, Hauterives

(4.5/5 based on 750+ reviews on the web)
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. See Palais Ideal du Facteur Cheval and all Hauterives has to offer by arranging your trip with our Hauterives trip generator.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Our first impressions by seeing this curious structure: a Thai temple for my husband and for my part, a brain. I quite like this idea, a brain shaped through his ideas and dreams. I will not hesitate to say that Mr. horse was a poet. We did the tour several times, not hesitating to scrutinize, detail, rave admire and adhere. A must-see.
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  • A great piece of work realized by one man only, in 33 years and 93000 hours of work. Amazing. Recognized by Picasso, Nikki de Saint Phalle, etc as being a major piece of Art Naïf. Kids get a game to f...  more »
  • Open sky is a work of art! Report interest - price is adjusted and it takes a small dose of openness and of artistic sensibility to fully appreciate. Not very suitable for the very young but after that allows them to appreciate the message of the artist behind the work. Visit in the off-season to avoid the flow of tourists is recommended.
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Google
  • A great insight into a man with big dreams. Well worth a visit
  • Interesting place to visit. Spent few hours there. Very educational for children and adults. Parking can be busy some parts of the day.
  • Amazing how this was hand crafted by a single person. If you're in the area be sure to pay a visit to this.
  • Bizarre and amazing. Smaller than I'd anticipated, but it still took over an hour to see it all.
  • On our roadtrip through France we stop here, in a small village, in the middle of nowhere :) I wasn't expecting anything and after I saw the Palais is completely surrounded by a wall and it costs a lil entry fee (8€) to get it, I wasn't happy (still am not), but well what can you do? We got in, read through the handout on the story and had a look at this crazy place :) Basically one man alone build his little palace (or bigger house?) within 33years of work. Naive art is the art style called and its really a bit crazy, but really nice to look at, soo much detail in every corner of the palace and kinda big as well, if you think he made it all on his own. You could probably spent hours here if you are into it and discover all the small things, is was really really nice and still a bit amazed what a single man can build :) It's really one of France not so well known Top 10 things to see :)