The pebble castle consists of many different styles and influences, spanning from Hinduism to Christianity—as well as the creativity of the artist’s eye.
Bound together with lime mortar and cement, the construction has shown a remarkable resilience to erosion and decay. These days, Cheval’s pebble castle often plays host to grand concerts and artistic exhibitions. He probably could not have imagined that his creation would become a landmark of such cultural and artistic influence within France.
When looking at the building’s exterior, it’s easy to imagine that you’ve stumbled across the castle of a lost civilization.
The inner halls and rooms of the great palace are just as intricately designed and executed as that of the interior.
The outer surfaces are adorned with various stone plaques and figures. Many of the figures and animals incorporated into the design were inspired by images on postcards and magazines that Cheval delivered during the course of his work day.
Toward the end of his life, Cheval gained recognition and praise from the likes of André Breton and Pablo Picasso, and his work was also the subject of an essay by Anaïs Nin. Le Palais ideal became a protected landmark in France in 1969.
Cheval wanted to be buried in the pebble castle he had dedicated so much of his life to creating, however French law did not allow him to make the dream a reality. Cheval would spend an additional eight years building his mausoleum in Hauterives cemetery. He died in August of 1924, one year after completing his own final resting place.