And now for something completely different. . .


We’ve always been inspired by naive art and architecture, the works of autodidacts driven to share their inner visions with the world.

Growing up in Kansas, we occasionally drove through Lucas, a small town to the west, where we we stop and gaze in bemusement at Samuel P. Dinsmoor’s Garden of Eden, a network of elevated allegorical concrete sculptures surrounding a pseudo log cabin with“logs” of long blocks of Kansas stone and a covered arbor entered through the arching arms of concrete Adam and Eve.

Dinsmoor, a schoolteacher, began his creation on retirement in 1909 and kept at it until failing health called him to call a halt twenty years later.

From Wikipedia, the front of Dinsmoor’s creation:

BLOG Eden

And from the building’s entry in the National Register of Historic Places, the allegorical crucifixion of Labor with the culprits watching from the sidelines:

BLOG Eden 2

But a letter carrier in France went far beyond Dinsmoor’s creaiton, building an extravagant creation he called Le Palais idéal, starting in 1879 and finishing in 1912, when he began an eight-year project, the construction of his own mausoleum.

From Wikipedia, an exterior view of his Palace:

BLOG Palais

And as closer look at detail, also from Wikipedia:

BLOG Palais 2

All of which brings us to video from FRANCE 24 English:

The “Ideal Palace” in southeastern France

Program notes:

Located in France’s southeastern Drôme region, the Ideal Palace is an outstanding monument, unique in the world. This architectural work of art is reminiscent of the temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia and the Park Guell of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. It was built by Joseph Ferdinand Cheval, a rural postman and self-taught artist, between 1879 and 1912. “You are here” explores this exceptional edifice, considered a masterpiece of outsider art, and visited each year by thousands of tourists.

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