Anything But Paella

Venture into the Dali Triangle – if you dare!

Salvador Dali. Love him or hate him? It seems the grand master of surrealism polarises opinion. No matter what your thoughts are on his artistic merits, a whistlestop tour of his eccentric life will have even the harshest are critic mesmerised. It would be impossible to publish this blog without a significant amount of photographs, so please enjoy the three slideshow galleries created to give an oversight of each of the three locations of the Dali Triangle.

dali triangle

 

Just to the northeast of Girona, Catalonia, you will find this so-called Dali Triangle. It consists of three locations:

  • Port Lligat where Dali lived in an exceedingly eccentric house. It is a work of art in itself.
  • Pubol where Dali had bought a castle for his wife, Gala, although they never lived in it together. He was only able to visit with her advanced permission in writing! When she died in 1982 he moved in but a serious fire two years later saw him move to Figueres. One theory is that the fire was a suicide attempt but that was never proved. Gala’s crypt is inside the castle.
  • Figueres where the Dali Theatre-Museum is located. Its annex, the Torre Galatea, is where Dali lived after the fire in Pubol. After his death in 1989, his body was placed in a crypt underneath the stage inside the theatre.

Dali and swans

Public transport in this region is not particularly good for visiting the three sites. It’s far better to have a car, and you’ll get to see some of the wonderful Catalan coastal countryside. In one day you can have a great time exploring Pubol Castle, Port Lligat and the Theatre-Museum in Figueres. You’ll have to plan well though, and advanced bookings at the latter two sites will make it much easier as they utilise a timed ticket system.

Dali

The castle wasn’t difficult to find in Pubol. Inside there are some strange exhibits. Dali’s favoured white horse has been stuffed and left to grace the foyer for eternity. On the walls there are various works of art including a burning giraffe – a symbol which Dali repeated in several of his works. There’s a probably a deep hidden meaning but I couldn’t see it! A giraffe without the flames looks over Gala’s tomb downstairs, as does the headless torso of a man and two decapitated horse heads. Outside in the garden you can marvel at the elephants with elongated legs. Be warned, you will leave with a sense of bewilderment, but that will be the case at all of Dali’s places of interest!

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The next stop was Port Lligat, although we cheated and stayed the night in nearby Cadaques which was wonderful! After the peace we had found at Pubol Castle, we were amazed to see so many tourists visiting the house at Port Lligat. We had a couple of hours wait before we could get a timed ticket which we killed with a wander around the dramatic Cap Creus. When our time came we were guided around the series of bizarre rooms and left in awe and wonder about the power of human imagination. Dali put eggs on and around the house which presumably are a symbol of rebirth, eternity, or something along those lines! The cleft heads on the roof were just wrong, and the stuffed animals gave you the feeling of being watched, especially by the polar bear. I kid you not, there’s a stuffed polar bear in there! The artist’s studio was incredible, especially the contraption he had devised and built allowing a giant canvas to be lowered through the floor giving him easy access to its higher levels. The collection of photographs showing Dali meeting the world’s rich, famous and powerful was extensive and well presented, although it took the guide to point out many of the notable figures. The gardens were beautiful in a strange way with some impressive fountains and sculptures. You can’t hang around too long after the tour though, or your head might explode. Perhaps that’s what the cleft heads are all about!

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In Figueres you cannot miss the weird building that is the Dali Theatre-Museum. The eggs and golden Oscar-esque figures adorning the walls and roof are a dead giveaway that you’ve found the right place. Inside it is a visual wonderland but be prepared that your mind may never be the same again. As you make your way around make sure you queue to climb the stairs of what is perhaps Dali’s most famous piece of spacial art featuring a bright red lip-shaped sofa representing the mouth on a face which can only be seen through a special prism located at the top. It’s completely baffling to even try to get inside the great (mad?) man’s head as you tour his artwork. It seems somewhat odd that his tomb is plain and located underneath the stage when surely he would have preferred to have been pickled like Lenin or Damien Hirst’s sharks.

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More information about visiting the attractions can be found below:

Pubol Castle

Port Lligat

Figueres Theatre-Musem

 

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