Ideal palace of the horse factor - Hauterives (Drôme)Ideal palace of the horse factor - Hauterives (Drôme)
©Ideal palace of the horse factor - Hauterives (Drôme)|Frédéric Jouhanin
The Ideal Palace of Factor Cheval

The history of the Ideal Palace

Ferdinand Cheval realized his dream! For 33 years, he built alone, in his garden, a Palace inspired by Nature, by postcards and illustrated magazines. The site is open all year round. You will appreciate the open-air visit, the museographic space and the exhibition space within the ideal Palace.

Why visit

the Ideal Palace ?

5 good reasons to come see the work of Ferdinand Cheval in Hauterives

#1Historical monument

The Ideal Palace was classified as a historical monument by Malraux in 1969.

#2Favorite monument of the French

The Ideal Palace came in 2nd position among 14 sites in the ranking of the French people’s favorite monument in 2020.

#3Ideal for families

It is a completely crazy monument that children love because they can hide, climb on the terraces, discover strange animals…

#4Unique in the world

It is a unique monument in the world. You won’t see two like it.

#5Incredible exhibitions

2 exhibitions not to be missed this summer: Jean-Michel Othoniel “Le rêve de l’eau” and Léna Vandrey “Insomnia


10,000 Days, 93,000 Hours, 33 years of trials

Ferdinand Cheval

A moving film

The film “The Incredible Story of Postman Cheval” by Niels Tavernier about Postman Cheval’s Ideal Palace was released in January 2019. Released on January 16, 2019, Nils Tavernier’s film traces the incredible story of the letter carrier and his dream palace. Starring Jacques Gamblin (who plays the horse factor) and Laetitia Casta (as his wife Philomena), it’s a beautiful, romantic and sentimental film about this great human and artistic adventure that awaits you.

An incredible story

In April 1879, Ferdinand Cheval, then 43 years old, stumbled during his tour on a stone so strange that it awakened a dream: it was the stumbling block. A true autodidact, he will devote 33 years of his life to building, alone, a dream palace in his vegetable garden, inspired by nature, postcards and the first illustrated magazines he distributes. A work classified Historical monument by André Malraux in 1969.

A unique work in the world

From the 1920s, the Surrealists, then Picasso or Niki de Saint-Phalle would perceive the artistic importance of the Ideal Palace and pay tribute to its creator. Ferdinand Cheval is close to Gaudi, with his baroque delirium, and to Dali by his ornamental extravagance. He built a purely imaginary palace that was the realization of a dream.

Palais Ideal du facteur Cheval (Hauterives - Drôme)
Palais Ideal  du facteur Cheval (Hauterives - Drôme)
Palais Ideal du facteur Cheval (Hauterives - Drôme)

I book my visit

An unusual visit not to be missed and discovered here and nowhere else…

Please note that in summer or during busy weekends, it is strongly advised to book your ticket online before you come, to ensure you can visit the site.