Born in 1836, Cheval lived a long life of respectable poverty, apprenticed first to a baker at age 13 and then entering the postal service in 1867. One day on his route he tripped over a stone, picked it up and was taken aback by its bizarre shape.From that day forward his 33-year quest to build the Ideal Palace began. He started collecting stones of interest along his route in his pocket. Eventually he upgraded to a bag and ultimately a wheel-barrow that he would trudge along his entire route; to the chagrin and confusion of many.Once home, he worked on his Ideal Palace tirelessly at night, often by light of an oil lamp. He spent the first 20 years building the outer walls and eventually began the interior and decorative aspects. Nothing was beyond the scope of his own imagination. His version of a Hindu temple stood next to a Swiss chalet which stood next to the Maison Carrée in Algiers which stood next to a medieval castle, and somewhere in between there was an Arab mosque. The tutelary spirits of the place, the facteur declared, were Julius Caesar, Archimedes and Vercingétorix.
Posts Tagged ‘french palace’
November 4th, 2011 Farhan