Ferdinand Cheval was born in 1836, in the French commune of Charmes-sur-l’Herbasse, in the Drôme department. Cheval left school when he turned 13, in order to become a baker’s apprentice, but ended up becoming a postman instead. Although he didn’t seem to be, in any way, an extraordinary man, he went on to become the creator of one of France’s cultural landmarks.
Mont Saint-Michel is a rocky tidal island and a commune in Normandy, France. The population of the island is 41, as of 2006. The island has been a strategic point holding fortifications since ancient times, and since the 8th century AD it became the seat of the Saint-Michel monastery, from which it draws the name. The Mont-Saint-Michel and its bay are part of the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. More than 3,000,000 people visit it each year.