"Folie?..." Hauterives by Porteplume

Hauterives Travel Guide: 9 reviews and 68 photos

First of a serie on Ferdinand Cheval's Palais Idéal. He is mostly known as Facteur Cheval.
He was 43 in the year 1879, when he began to make his dream true, a huge work which would keep him busy for the rest of his life (1912).
Using cement, shells and river rocks, night after night, he built his "Palais Ideal".

I have got permission by Jeremy Josephs, Freelance Writer and Journalist, to write some text from his site The Postman's Palace:

"An ill-educated, little-travelled postman who would single-handedly construct a magnificent temple to nature now classified as an historical monument in France, his 33 years of blood, sweat and tears now feted by artists and intellectuals alike. Not bad for someone who the locals liked to classify as the village idiot".

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English: "1879-1912, 10 000 days, 93 000 hours, 33 years of hard times, is it possible to find more stubborn than me to set to work?"

Part of the East elevation: This extends to about 26 meters and almost 11 metres high at his highest point.

Français: "1879-1912, 10 000 journées, 93 000 heures, 33 ans d'épreuves, plus opiniâtre que moi se mette à l'œuvre."

Partie de la façade Est: 26 mètres de long et le plus haut point est à presque 11 mètres.

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English: Here are of the texts which I read during my visit to the "Palais Idéal" in Hauterives, Drôme, France - and which are telling you the story of a "Folie"...

"The story begins on one day of April 1879. On the way back of its daily round as a pedestrian postman, Ferdinand Cheval butts against a stone so odd that she recalls him his dream which sank little by little in the lapse of memory: A fairy-like palace exceeding imagination. A palace cemented by the obstinacy of only one man. A monumental work, a challenge without any logic, an intention fixed forever by courage and will of this builder of dream..."

"Nobody can escape his destiny"... He was born in 1836 and died in 1924, this son of peasants, pedestrian postman in Hauterives, who devoted 33 years of his existence to model, night after night, a monument of obstinacy.

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Français: Voilà quelques extraits des textes que j'ai lus au cours de ma visite au "Palais Idéal" à Hauterives, Drôme, France - et qui vous parlent d'une "Folie"...

"L'épopée commence un jour d'avril 1879. Au retour de sa tournée quotidienne de facteur, Ferdinand Cheval bute sur une pierre si bizarre qu'elle lui rappelle son rêve qui sombrait peu à peu dans l'oubli: Un palais féerique dépassant l'imagination. Un palais cimenté par l'opiniâtreté d'un seul homme. Une oeuvre monumentale, un défi à toute logique, un dessein fixé à jamais par le courage et la volonté de ce bâtisseur de rêve..."

"Nul n'échappe à sa destiné"... Né en 1836, mort en 1924, ce fils de paysans, pièton des Postes à Hauterives, consacre 33 années de son existence à modeler, nuit après nuit, un monument d'obstination.

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Two sites for people who might be interested to know more about the famous postman... Click <a href="http://www.jeremyjosephs.com/postmanspalace.htm">here for English</a> or/ou <a href="http://www.aricie.fr/facteur-cheval/index.html">ici en Français & Anglais</a>

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  • Last visit to Hauterives: Sep 2003
  • Intro Updated Mar 6, 2004
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Comments (10)

  • craic's Profile Photo
    Mar 6, 2004 at 11:37 AM

    Marvellous!

  • unravelau's Profile Photo
    Mar 6, 2004 at 10:39 AM

    Amazing page. Thank you for 're' discovering this magnificent human acheivement and presenting it to us here. Thank you so much.

  • XenoHumph's Profile Photo
    Jan 14, 2004 at 8:31 AM

    Excellente page! C'est toujours rigolo a voir, ce truc!! A propos, Bonne Année!!!!

  • cadzand's Profile Photo
    Nov 19, 2003 at 12:14 PM

    Palais spécial certainement, Idéal ? certainement aussi aux jeux de son créateur. J'aimerais bien le visiter un jour. Wow ! que Joséphine a grandi !

  • demonia's Profile Photo
    Oct 31, 2003 at 12:47 PM

    Bonjour Viviane! Desolee pour le silence dernierement, c'est fou comme un demenagement peut tout bouleverser (et devorer le temps). Merci beaucoup pour cette page et merci d'y penser a moi :-) Tes photos sont merveilleuses, comme d'habitude :)

  • SirRichard's Profile Photo
    Oct 31, 2003 at 4:21 AM

    Didn't know about this Palais Ideal, Viviane! Seems quite surrealistic, a mix between Dali and some Indian Palaces... Thanx!

  • pepples46's Profile Photo
    Oct 24, 2003 at 9:55 PM

    completely new area for me....wonderful pics and great read. thanx Viviane. Greetings Wal

  • sim1's Profile Photo
    Oct 22, 2003 at 2:28 PM

    Wow, what a place!! Great photos and great page Viviane!! Hope you are doing fine! *hugs*

  • nighthawk's Profile Photo
    Oct 19, 2003 at 3:07 AM

    wow this is great stuff to read! love it! hey how s you dear viviane? all well? loved the pic of josephine on yr hp! kid grows up fast!

  • alza's Profile Photo
    Oct 15, 2003 at 7:47 PM

    Never been to Hauterives but heard of le facteur Cheval often! His Folie reminds me of Angkor Wat! :-) Nice page Viviane!

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