Salvador Dalí, a genius until his death. Considered one of the greats of Spanish surrealism, with as many admirers as detractors, the artist built a character of his own. Extravagant, unique and a little crazy, he described himself as follows: “I am not a stranger. I am just not normal“. This route of Dalí through Catalonia takes us to the places where the genius left his mark; places as peculiar as he himself.
Portlligat: Dalí House-Museum
The first stop on Dalí’s route through Catalonia takes us to a small village on the Costa Brava. Portlligat is located in a privileged enclave, in a cove in the heart of Cabo de Creus. Here Dalí established his house from 1930 until the death of his wife Gala in 1982. The building was designed by him and follows the painter’s surrealist style. It is a house located at the foot of the beach where the most recognizable thing is the eggs that are placed on the roof. The interior is fascinating and can be visited, as it has been converted into a House-Museum.
Dalí designed everything meticulously, with an almost unhealthy precision, which allowed him to assert with pride that the sun was rising over his bed earlier than anywhere else in Spain. This is due to a curious system of mirrors that he installed in the place; so that the first rays of the morning sun would fall directly on his house. In addition, Dalí slept with his head down, towards the easternmost point of Spain. Extravagances that only geniuses can afford.
The House-Museum of the Dalí Route through Catalonia can be visited with prior reservation or by buying tickets online. The price is around 10 euros, with discounts for students, people over 65 and users of the youth card.
Figueres: Dalí Theatre-Museum
The next stop on Dalí’s route takes us to Figueres, where the artist was born and died. In the Plaza Gala-Salvador Dalí, specifically at number 5, we find the Dalí Theatre-Museum. In 2017 it was the third most visited museum in Spain, with a total of 1.2 million visitors. When Dalí died, he donated most of his works to the Spanish state, dividing them between this museum and the Reina Sofía in Madrid.
The Theatre-Museum was also designed by the surrealist painter. The eggs on the roof are present again. Inside is the last room he lived in and his grave. The building is fascinating and if it is also decorated with the works of Dali, the experience becomes highly recommended. As for the furniture; the paintings, the sculptures, the large windows… everything bears the stamp of the surrealist, which makes this stop the epicentre of Dalí’s route through Catalonia. The Theatre-Museum can be visited for a price of 14 euros, with discounts for students, people over 65 and users of the youth card.
From Figueras we recommend to go to Ampurias, one hour by car. If you are a lover of art and history, the town will not let you down. There you will find the most complete and interesting ancient ruins in the Iberian Peninsula: they date back to the 5th century BC.
The next stop on Dalí’s route through Catalonia takes us to Púbol. It forms, together with Cadaqués and Figueras, the so-called “Dalinian Triangle”. In 1962 Salvador Dalí bought Púbol Castle as a gift for his wife and muse Gala. The interior decoration was created entirely by him and includes drawings and paintings that Dalí gave to Gala, as well as sculptures of long-legged elephants that decorate the garden, the swimming pool with busts by Richard Wagner and a collection of Gala’s haute couture costumes. Gala, who died in 1982, is buried in the basement of Púbol Castle in a mausoleum designed by her husband. That same year, Salvador Dalí was appointed Marquis of Púbol by King Juan Carlos I.
The castle can be visited for a price of 8 euros with discounts for students, people over 65 years old and youth card users. From Púbol we recommend a visit to Pals, an immaculately restored medieval town.
Text: Paloma Díaz Espiñeira