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The Oddment Emporium

A Cornucopia of Eclectic Delights

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Ferdinand Cheval (born 1836 in Charmes-sur-l’Herbasse, Drôme, France; died 19 August 1924) was a French postman who spent thirty-three years of his life building Le Palais idéal (the “Ideal Palace”) in Hauterives. The Palace is regarded as an extraordinary example of naïve art architecture.

Cheval began the building in April 1879. He claimed that he had tripped on a stone and was inspired by its shape. He returned to the same spot the next day and started collecting stones.
For the next thirty-three years, Cheval picked up stones during his daily mail round and carried them home to build the Palais idéal. He spent the first twenty years building the outer walls. At first, he carried the stones in his pockets, then switched to a basket. Eventually, he used a wheelbarrow. He often worked at night, by the light of an oil lamp.
The Palais is a mix of different styles with inspirations from Christianity to Hinduism. Cheval bound the stones together with lime, mortar and cement.
More Images and the unusual shaped stone Cheval tripped over that provided the starting point for the Palais.

Ferdinand Cheval (born 1836 in Charmes-sur-l’Herbasse, Drôme, France; died 19 August 1924) was a French postman who spent thirty-three years of his life building Le Palais idéal (the “Ideal Palace”) in Hauterives. The Palace is regarded as an extraordinary example of naïve art architecture.

Cheval began the building in April 1879. He claimed that he had tripped on a stone and was inspired by its shape. He returned to the same spot the next day and started collecting stones.

For the next thirty-three years, Cheval picked up stones during his daily mail round and carried them home to build the Palais idéal. He spent the first twenty years building the outer walls. At first, he carried the stones in his pockets, then switched to a basket. Eventually, he used a wheelbarrow. He often worked at night, by the light of an oil lamp.

The Palais is a mix of different styles with inspirations from Christianity to Hinduism. Cheval bound the stones together with lime, mortar and cement.

More Images and the unusual shaped stone Cheval tripped over that provided the starting point for the Palais.

Human bones lie inside a log coffin at Phnom Pel—one of four newly dated burial sites that mark the remnants of a vanished culture from Cambodia. The burials date to the last days of the Khmer Empire, which controlled large swaths of Southeast Asia from its Cambodian base at Angkor, more than a hundred miles away. However, the empire had little cultural impact on the mountainside grave-builders, the study team believes. For one thing, the people of Angkor followed the Hindu and Buddhist practice of cremation, Beavan said.

(Source: National Geographic)