Figueres, the Birthplace of Salvador Dalí and Where the Dalí Museum Still Dominates:
That Salvador Dalí was born in Figueres is sufficient reason for art lovers to be excited about this town. Figueres (Catalan for fig trees) is in the Alt Empordà or Upper Empordà region in the province of Girona. Figueres was where Dalí was born on May 11, 1904 and at the age of 15, he had his first exhibition.
Although Salvador Dalí and the Teatro Museo Dalí dominate this town, Figueres has many other famous sons, one of them being Narcis Monturiol i Estarriol, the inventor of the first machine powered submarine.
La Rambla is the city´s central avenue which also forms as the axis linking the old quarter with the expanded new city. La Rambla is also the main pedestrian shopping precinct.
Places of interest in Figueres include: the Monument to Narcís Monturiol, the house where Dalí was born, Plaça Gala i Salvador Dalí, Church of Sant Pere, Plaça de la Font Lluminosa, Plaça de Catalunya, Plaça del Gra, Plaça de l’Ajuntament, the former Abattoir, Carrer de la Jonquera and the Jewish quarter. Visitors can take in most of these sights on a two-hour walking tour.
Figueres’ star attraction is the Teatro Museo Dalí the museum that was designed by Dalí. Even those visitors who are not too familiar with the work of this master artist will be mesmerized by the surrealist world of Dalí. The Dalí Museum building itself is amazing work of art. More than a couple of hours are required to truly appreciate the Dalí Theatre Museum and the Dalí Jewels, said to be the most visited museum in Spain after the Prado.
Figueres is also a city with a tradition for trade fairs and festivals. The main trade fairs and festivals which take place in the city include: Firagri, Fair of Santa Creu, Alt Empordà Wine exhibition, Sant Josep-Fira del Bunyol de l’Empordà Fair, Trade Fair-Market, Toy Festival Intergalactic Meeting of Collectors’ Toys, Cut-price Trade Fair and Saint George’s Day.
Situated about 36 km from Girona town and 136 km from Barcelona, Figueres is also the largest Spanish city close to the border with France. This makes Figueres an important communication hub. Since December 2010, a new high-speed rail TGV network connects Figueres to Perpignan, with connections to Madrid-Barcelona scheduled to start service in 2012. The railway station is located in the city centre and opposite to it is the bus station which services the Catalan bus lines as well as the international destinations. Figueres is also served by Girona Airport, which is 50 km away.
For those wanting to make Figueres their base to enjoy Dalí’s world, there are a number of Figueres hotels that are just 500 metres away.
Map of Figueres: