April 28, 2011
The Ideal Palace
The Ideal Palace was built by Ferdinand Cheval in 1879. Ferdinand Cheval was born in 1836 in Charmes-sur-l'Herbasse, Drôme, France and worked as a postal worker for the beginning of his life. He began building the Ideal Palace in April 1879 and it took him thirty-three years to complete. At the time, the main labor force were farmers so growing up, Ferdinand had a descent life as a postal worker. During that time, being a postal worker was considered middle class so finances were not much of a problem for Cheval and his family. During the mid 1800‘s, there was a lot of turmoil in France. Even with all of the turmoil going on at the time, Ferdinand Cheval was able to build one of the most majestic and beautiful palaces in all of the world which is an extraordinary accomplishment. What is very impressive was that Ferdinand Cheval constructed and built the palace all on his own without any body else’s help at all. This shows how amazing it was that Cheval was able to build the palace the size that it was and with all the detail that Cheval put into it. On creating the palace, Ferdinand said, “In creating this rock, I wanted to show what will power can do” (Ferdinand Chavel 1). And this is exactly what he did and he was rewarded and his accomplishments have been recognized with millions of tourists coming to view the palace throughout the years.
Ferdinand started building The Ideal Palace in April of 1879 and he didn’t completely finish until 1912. Having constructed on the Palace for thirty-three years on his own shows how dedicated and driven Chavel was in creating this masterpiece. The Ideal Palace lies in Hauterives, France and is still standing there today. The civilization that built it lies within the heart and will power of Ferdinand Chavel. Nobody but Ferdinand helped build or construct The Ideal Palace at all. Many people would believe that it would be insane to construct a palace on your own for thirty-three years, but Ferdinand believed that he was given a purpose to build something of this magnitude and stature using just the stones of nature.
Throughout his life, Cheval was very interested in different stones and rocks. For a twenty-seven year period, Cheval went on journeys for stones. He used these stones on the Ideal Palace as well, as limestone, shells, and concrete. These three materials were the only materials he used on the whole Palace and the tools that he used consisted of his pants pockets (in which he would carry stones back), then he changed to a basket which he found more efficient, then he changed to a wheelbarrow to carry around the stones which he found even more efficient than the basket or his pants pockets. Cheval had always been a very intelligent individual as he taught himself how to be artistic, in fact, the word naive architecture (meaning creating something without previous artistic teachings) was invented due to Ferdinand’s work. Cheval had his own methods that he used and had his own ways of doing everything. Although he is a very bright man I still don’t understand why he didn’t ask anybody for help. With so much of the labor force in the farming industry, many farmers had an abundance of proper tools that could have only helped Cheval with his creation of the Ideal Palace. Not only would tools and help from other people have made the process easier, but it could have speed up the process by a ton of years and it wouldn’t have taken him thirty-three years to complete it. Although, he did use what he had to optimum use. Due to an insufficient amount of information on Cheval actually built the palace, based on my research I can conclude that he most likely created a huge infrastructure of concrete, limestone, and stones and then made the detailed artistic parts of it by carving with tools and his hands. It seems probable that Cheval could have done this because the highest point that was...