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Limitless Fantasy: Ferdinand Cheval and His Ideal Palace

Once upon a time there was a French Postman named Ferdinand Cheval. But he had quite an unusual dream – to built a beautiful palace. 

“I was walking very fast when my foot caught on something that sent me stumbling a few meters away, I wanted to know the cause. In a dream I had built a palace, a castle or caves, I cannot express it well… I told no one about it for fear of being ridiculed and I felt ridiculous myself. Then fifteen years later, when I had almost forgotten my dream, when I wasn’t thinking of it at all, my foot reminded me of it. My foot tripped on a stone that almost made me fall. I wanted to know what it was… It was a stone of such a strange shape that I put it in my pocket to admire it at my ease.” 

That is the beginning of our story. He started the construction in

1879. Ferdinand was persistent and determined. For the thirty-three years he collected strange-shaped rocks on his way of post delivering. He adjusted the cart to ease the transportation of the bigger ones. 

And finally, after all years of hard work and mockery, he finally built it! 

Le Palais idéal (the “Ideal Palace”) was an extraordinary building with the mixture of styles and techniques. Cheval was inspired by the architecture of different eras; he was equally excited about Chinese, Indian, and European architectures. Combining them he had created a truly unique work of Naive art. The lack of education had compensated in the freedom of choice. Cheval did not restrain his imagination to any particular style. The consequences of that is his unique and original vision

embodied in this palace. 

And while almost all of his lifetime Cheval was being laughed at, towards the end of the construction he gained wide recognition. He was noticed by the Surrealists and admired by Picasso and

Max Ernst, who were amused by the wildness and creativeness of this simple man. 

Now Le Palais idéal is open to public and is recognized and protected by the government as a

cultural landmark of France. Not to mention, that it brings a nice income to the ancestors of this extraordinary postman. Ferdinand Cheval was put on the post stamp and made quite an impact on the culture of 20th century. Numerous references in art and literature proves this point. 

So the moral of this story is – if you have any kind of a dream, even if it seems ridiculous and silly, follow it! Regular postman had built a wonderful palace out of stones, and many generations admired it’s beauty and complexity. It proves, that nothing is impossible and every single thing in the world has a beauty within itself. So do not hesitate and do whatever you dream about. Work hard and do things with passion, and eventually, you will overcome any obstacles and reach your goal!

All images were taken from udivitelno.com

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