A FRENCH POSTMAN COLLECTED PEBBLES ON HIS ROUTE, AND BUILT A PALACE WITH THEM
I have a friend who happens to also be my postman. He works really hard and is really diligent and responsible about his responsibilities. So much so, that I always know when he has a day off as his replacement just isn’t the same. But now, I’m thinking that he really may just be a slacker! Because a French postman has just set an incredibly high bar that no one can compete with! His name is Ferdinand Cheval and he was alive from 1836 to 1924. He worked his daily mail route for 33 years. But he had the habit of collecting pebbles and rocks every day as he worked. And, well, he literally built a palace out of them!
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A STUMBLE OVER A ROCK REMINDED POSTMAN OF HIS DREAM OF BUILDING A PALACE IN FRANCE
Postman Cheval named his incredible palace Le Palais ideal, or “ideal palace.” It’s in what is now a commune, Hauterives, which is in the Drôme department in southeastern France. So how does something like this start? Well, before he worked as a postman he had a dream that he built some sort of palace or castle, but almost like a series of caves. He told no one about the dream. Then, about 15 years later, he tripped on something and stumbled pretty badly. He had tripped on an oddly shaped stone and put it in his pocket. So the next day he collected more and that’s how the palace building began.
POSTMAN SPENT YEARS REALIZING HIS DREAM PALACE, BUILT BY HIS HANDS ALONE
But it took years to achieve his final goal of his Ideal Palace. But the dream of his youth stayed alive and slowly took shape into the marvel you see pictured above. He loved the idea of sandstone being hardened by nature into something so strong that man can’t imitate. So as he put it, since Nature is willing to do the sculpture, I will do the masonry and the architecture.”