At the Dalí Museums in the Costa Brava Visitors Can Discover Dalí’s Universe:
While the Costa Brava is a popular package holiday destination for tourists from Northern Europe – the United Kingdom and France in particular – the Catalonian ‘wild coast’ is not just about golden beaches, sandy coves and overcrowded holiday resorts. There are many small coastal towns that have retained their traditional looks and some, like Cadaqués, have attracted and inspired artists over the centuries. Salvador Domènec Felip Jacint Dalí i Domènech, Marquis of Dalí de Púbol, or Salvador Dalí in short, was one such artist and the Costa Brava was very much Dalí’s stamping grounds.
The Costa Brava is home to three Dalí museums: the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres, the Salvador Dalí House-Museum in a Portlligat and the Gala-Dalí Castle House-Museum in Púbol.
You don’t have to be an art aficionado to enjoy the artwork by Salvador Dalí. However, if you’re a fan of this master of Surrealism, a visit to the Costa Brava, in the northeastern Catalonian coastal region, will certainly be rewarding. Here Dalí fans can explore the places where the artist lived and worked and to get closer to Dalí’s thoughts and universe.
Figueres – Birthplace of Dali
Figueres would be a good starting point as Figueres was where Dalí was born, had his first exhibition at 15 and where he died. His crypt can be seen in the Teatre-Museu Dalí. The Dalí Theatre-Museum, with its egg-shaped tops, dominates this town and is also the largest surrealistic object in the world. The building itself was designed by Dalí and some of the rooms such as the Mae West Room and the Wind Palace Room were specifically created for the Museum. Within the Museum, visitors are sure to be captivated by the broad range of Dalí paintings, sculptures and many other Dalí artwork. Another clue to Dalí’s universe are the works of other artists that Dalí wanted in the Museum. Some of these include El Greco, Antoni Pitxot, Marcel Duchamp, to name a few. The Dalí Jewels gallery is particularly popular.
Dalí’s Refuge in Cadaqués
The next Dalí museum, the Salvador Dalí House-Museum, is some 36 kilometres east of Figueres in the picturesque town of Cadaqués. The museum is in a place called Portlligat. This small white building, much like a fisherman’s house, was Dalí’s main refuge and this was where Dalí created most of his great paintings. In the maze of narrow corridors and rooms decorated with Dalí’s personal objects, and from the views looking out to the bay of Portlligat, visitors can get a feel for the private and intimate side of Dalí. It’s a good idea to book this visit in advance as admission is limited to small groups. (www.salvador-dali.org)
Girona Makes the Dalí Triangle
The final destination in the Dalí triangle is the town of Girona where the Gala-Dalí Castle House-Museum can be found in Púbol. In the garden visitors will see surrealist elephants and the swimming pool surrounded by busts of Richard Wagner. Dali designed the unusual rooms himself, which have a predominance of medieval and Baroque decoration.
The Dalí museums in the Costa Brava received over 1.3 million visitors in 2010 and the numbers keeps rising.
Costa Brava Map: