Figueres and my beloved Dali

As a total zealot of Dali I couldn’t miss Figueres. This small town lies in the heart of Catalonia.

Figueres was during the Spanish Civil War it served as the last Republican outpost to stand against Franco, nowadays there are only two reasons to visit it – the Dali Museum and one of the finest restaurants in Spain.

Figueres is a pleasant town with a semi-attractive centre, the 18th-century Sant Ferran Castle (in fact the largest castle in Europe), and stands within city walls from the Middle Ages with beautiful medieval parts such as the Plaza del Ayuntamiento and the area around Carrer Magre – the old Jewish quarter in Figueres.

With the café-lined Rambla there are many impressive churches, such as San Pere Church or San Sebastian Chapel, the Catalan Toy Museum, and the Empordà Museum where you can learn about the country’s history and art.

It has some outstanding examples of modernist buildings, such as Casa Cusi, Casa Salleras and Casa Puig-Soler; and in the Neoclassical style the Casa del Cafe Progres, Casa Polideseia and Casa Bonaterra. These were built thanks to the profusion of the local middle class taking part in ambitious architectural projects in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Figueres Rocks!

Many people from around Spain and France flock to Figueres for the exceptional cuisine, which combines raw ingredients from the sea and the mountains. Try to have lunch or dinner at the ‘Motel Emporda’ Restaurant – it is truly worth a separate trip!

However, it is the Salvador Dali Museum that everyone comes here for!

In 1974 the mayor of Figueres asked the native Dali to donate a painting to a museum that was being planned by the city. And, typical of Dali, he couldn’t donate just ‘a painting’, so he donated the entire building! The Dali Museum was built to Salvador Dali’s design in order to offer its visitors a genuine experience that would take them into his entrancing, unique and awfully surreal world.

And believe me, you will find yourself in some kind of hypnagogic dimension right from the entrance to the museum, with its transparent geodesic dome and the courtyard with the black ‘Rainy Cadillac’ project, inside of which some figures are sprayed with water, with a statue of a well-endowed female figure which stands on top of a Cadillac and the walls decorated with golden mannequins!

The Theatre-Museum Gala Salvador Dali in Figueres should be seen in its entirety as the most unique and greatest work of Dali, and the largest surrealist object in the world dedicated to the genius of surrealist painting. The museum contains a broad spectrum of works by Dali – from his early artistic experiences through his erotic and mind-bending works as well as works from his mystical and nuclear phase to late-life creations and paintings.

The most famous works in the museum are: Port Alguer, The Spectrum of Sex Appeal, Soft Self-Portrait with Fried Bacon, Poetry from America, the Cosmic Athletes, Galarina, The Bread Basket, Atomic Leda and Galatea of the Spheres.

There are many sets of work that Dali created expressly for the Theatre-Museum, such as the Palace of the Wind room, the Monument to Francesc Pujols, the Rainy Cadillac and the Mae West room, where looking through a lens creates an illusion of a woman’s face. Do not miss the Torre Galatea where the artist spent the last years of his life.

Dali was a leading exponent of surrealism, defying the irrational imagery of dreams and delirium in a scrupulously detailed style which he was a master of! He is widely known for his eccentricity but for his undeniable genius as well!

This most acclaimed of the Spanish artists was born in Figueres and died there. Most of his works are in the stupendous Dali Theatre-Museum, designed by the artist himself and used to hold his first exhibition ever. Dali was also buried here, next to the church that witnessed both his christening and his funeral – the first and last acts of a perfectly planned scenario. That is so Dali!

I had an amazing time in the museum, but that was to be expected from such a Dali lover like me! The only thing I regret is that I didn’t have time to visit the museums created in both his houses, in Port Lligat and Pubol. Oh well, what is postponed is not lost!

8 thoughts on “Figueres and my beloved Dali

  1. When I was still very young my parents took my brother and me to Figueres. We wanted to visit the Dalí museum but there was a huge line outside. As it was really hot that day and my brother was just a toddler, we didn’t go in. I’m planning a trip to the south of France at the moment and am going to try to plan in it.
    Sofie recently posted…Why the Camp Nou Experience isn’t just for football fansMy Profile

    • Oh you should girl. In 2012 I did this trip, I started in Turin, then Piedmont, later South of France, Monte Carlo, St Tropez, than Provence, Toulouse, Biarritz, Pays Basque, San Sebastian and Bilbao and than you are so close to go to Costa Brava ha ha ha
      Marysia recently posted…Lucky 13th Quote Affair – AprilMy Profile

  2. On a trip with my parents and brother years ago, we planned to visit the Dalí museum. only, when we got there, there was a waiting line of about two hours to get in!
    Since my brother was still little at that time and it was blistering hot, my parents decided we would skip the museum.
    But as you say: postpone doesn’t mean lost!
    Sofie recently posted…Utrecht: walking along the water waysMy Profile

    • Indeed Sofie, I always say that :) Dali Museum is must see, some day, one day for sure. I want to see other two as well!
      My Travel Affairs recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #16My Profile

  3. Lisa

    Wow those are some amazing photos. I’m an admirer of Dali as well and what an experience it must have been to see his pieces at the museum!

    • My Travel Affairs

      Yes it is truly superb and when you love Dali that is a must! :)

  4. Michelle

    You got some amazing shots! I always have trouble taking photos of pictures, but you did really well!

    • My Travel Affairs

      Thanks Dear, the light was not to great, but some of them came up pretty well indeed :)

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