...Ferdinand 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... viaIs it not one of the most magical things you have ever seen?!! Cheval was not an architect nor a mason but a persistent genius. The 'Ideal Palace' is an iconclasm of East and West, drawing upon motifs from Christianity and Hinduism. Cheval's poetry is also chipped into the walls: "In creating this rock, I wanted to prove what the will can do". Oh gosh.