Built between 1879 and 1912, this historic Hauterives structure is the singular vision of French postman Ferdinand Cheval. The intricate palace was built stone by hand-sourced stone over a span of roughly three decades. It was inspired by an oddly shaped rock over which Cheval tripped one afternoon, beginning his obsession with collecting stones for what is now aptly coined the "Ideal Palace of Postman Cheval." The unique landmark fits no one aesthetic classification and instead boasts a striking combination of architectural styles, making it particularly popular among fans of Surrealist art. Today, the palace attracts more than 150,000 visitors each year and serves as a venue for concerts and other events, its breathtaking design and scenic gardens creating an eye-catching backdrop.
Built next to the ancient medieval city for protection, Château de Septème was restored in the 15th and 16th Centuries and parts of the ramparts remain today. Most of the buildings from the end of the Middle Ages (14th-15th Century) remain and bear witness to the changing lifestyles compared to earlier buildings (towers, chimneys and the like). The inner courtyard was reworked during the Renaissance when a loggia and gallery were added. Call for more details.
Cathédrale Saint-Maurice de Vienne is a place of Roman Catholic worship. The cathedral is dedicated to Saint Maurice, a legendary Theban leader. The church boasts of grand Gothic architecture and is said to have been established over a period of five centuries. The west front of the church provides gorgeous panoramic views over the Rhine. Besides regular prayer services and religious activities, the cathedral halls host music concerts, exhibitions, and so on.
Measuring a whopping 160,618 acres (65,000 hectares) the Pilat Regional Natural Park spans two departments. Here one can find many varieties of flora and fauna, including spruce trees, meadows and vineyards. hiking and biking are common activities that can be indulged in here. Winters see enthusiasts try their hand at skiing. The fresh air and the lush greenery make for a memorable trip.
Built by Ferdinand Cheval, a French postman, Le Palais Idéal du Facteur Cheval is one very spectacular piece of architecture. A telling structure, this one is all of 26 meters long. Covered with scripts, sea shelled pathways, figures of famous people like Archimedes, tools used to create this masterpiece and many other decorative arts. With its growing popularity, the Palais Idéal du Facteur Cheval has now become a National Monument in Hauterives and an iconic visitor's spot. Each year thousands of visitors gather to witness this marvelous wonder. The place is also home to events, exhibitions and cultural events. There is also an on-site shop selling memorabilia, loved by those who want to take back memories of this grand monument. Visiting hours vary monthly, call ahead or check website for more information.