Facteur Ferdinand Cheval, an “uneducated, unskilled mailman who was moved to build the palace of his childhood imagination after stumbling across one beautiful stone in the road,” built his perfect palace in Hauterives, Southern France. “From that moment,” he said in a letter dated 1897, “I did not sleep day or night.”
Beginning in 1879 and finished in 1912, Palais took over 10,000 days, 93,000 hours, and in the end a total of 33 years to construct. Its design was inspired by various sources including the Bible, Neuschwanstein (a Hindu sanctuary), and a sandcastle.
Mailman by day and crazed architect by night, driven to build Palais by one pretty pebble and a child’s imagination.