Another beautiful morning. Late November, but sunny, around 17 degrees, just perfect for an excursion out of the city. And what an excursion that is going to be!
When ever thinking about traveling to Barcelona, I always reminded myself that I would have to take an extra day to escape the city into a village not that far. Now I was there! So, asked around – it was possible to go by train, it would take couple of hours to get there. Got up early being determined to have the whole day for browsing around and took off to – Figueres, Spain!
Why Figueres? Well, because the only so called “theatre-museum” I know of is located there, and whose legacy is it? Salvador Dali’s, of course! Who else would have such insane but brilliant idea to turn the walls of once burnt Municipal Theater into his own museum. And he has created a masterpiece!
Dali was born in Figueres and died here. He wanted to rebuilt the structure overlooking the church he was baptized in. Dali even lived here, next to the old Theater itself, until the end of his life. These walls were the ones that hosted his first exhibition. So, it’s like every brick and stone just screams “Dali”. He was asked couple of times to donate one of his pieces to his home town, but he always replied that he would do more than that – he would leave all of his work to Figueres, within his Dali Theatre Museum.
Stroll around Figueres Spain
And so, took the train, feeling so excited, glanced outside the window and then back to pages of my book about Dali. Rushed out at the station and found this small town really charming.
There was the street sculpture at the small square reminding visitors they have come into Dali’s town. Walked up the street, passing by colorful small buildings, took couple of photos. After all, I have enough time, will be spending the whole day here.
Walked by few cafes. Not that many people, quiet little town, it seems that there were more tourists than the actual inhabitants. And they got used to seeing curious wanderers carrying books about Salvador Dali and looking around, trying to locate the famous Museum. Couple of them just smiled at me, pointing up. They knew!
Huge eggs and a Cadillac
One more corner and there was the courtyard. It says Dali Theatre Museum above the entrance, with strange sculptures and their arms lifted up.
There is Torre Galatea building next to it, with huge sculpture of eggs displayed among thin statues. In the center, the famous cupola, where his crypt is. Dali wanted a space that would be mysterious for visitors, full of enigma. And he succeeded in doing so – right from the outdoor terraces to the last step!
There is central courtyard, garden in the open dominated by the vertical installation with the imposing Cadillac, the sculpture of The Queen Esther, the Trajan’s Column made of tires, Gala’s Boat… Dali said it was the biggest surrealist monument in the world.
Step inside from here, and you will find yourself in a huge space with glass window looking at the previous courtyard on one side, while the other side’s wall is covered in enormous piece, Michelangelo’s Head, the backdrop Dali has designed for a ballet in New York in 1941.
Living in Mae West’s face
So many details! From this space you go to other rooms, all specially designed, full of symbolism and various work. Among them Mae West Room and the Palace of the Wind. Salvador Dali paintings such as Galarina, Portrait of Pablo Picasso, Soft Self Portrait With Grilled Bacon, Poetry of America, Galatea of The Spheres.
One of the most popular areas is Mae West Room where one can take in the three-dimensional application, the creation of a room, from a two-dimensional image, the wash of newspaper of Face of Mae West which may be used as an apartment.
This is typical Dali scenery that cannot be described, that just has to be seen in person – from the top of the stairway and through reducing lens. Sounds silly even trying to explain!
According to the guide book I bought at the Museum, Dali said that he wanted to make this space “like a single block, a labyrinth, a great surrealist object”. “The people who come to see it will leave with the sensation of having had a theatrical dream”, he stated. And he did nothing less! You are in such an awe for Salvador Dali artwork and the surroundings, but at the same time – you feel lost, without being able to reason with anything!
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I really like Salvador Dali and I visited an exhibition in Brussels last year… It must be so cool to visit its actual city 🙂 Figueres looks like a very cute city!
It is, I loved it. It’s great when you know that it’s Dali’s little town. I see that you like his work, so you’d love his Theatre Museum, I’m sure. 🙂
Thanks for sharing! I have been to Barcelona so many times but I have never ventured into Figueres. I am putting on my “to-see-places” for next time I´m around.
Thanks, glad you like it! 🙂
The Travel Ninjas
You given us another wonderful reason to love Barcelona. Dali’s art is simply irresistible. It has such universal appeal. He really knew how to touch something deep in the hearts of people.
Glad you’ve enjoyed it, thanks! 🙂
Love Dali’s work. I’m planning a trip with my sister and granddaughter to Barcelona in June and we are going to make a day trip to Figueres. Our dad was in the Air Force and mom always went with him. My sister was born in Barcelona and I was born in Figueres so we always said one day we were going to see where we were born and that time has come. I can’t wait to see the museum!! I also have the address of the hospital where I was born. I think there is a new building there now but I still have to visit that area too.
Oh, such a great reason to go! Can’t even imagine how excited you are. I know I would be. 🙂
Hope you’ll have some great time on your journey!
We took our trip in June and it was wonderful! Like I said before, I was born in Figueres and as soon as we arrived I felt like I was home. We walked around town and found a farmers market. We couldn’t believe how big and colorful everything was, we bought some fruit. We made our way to the museum but didn’t get to go in, we didn’t realize our tickets were for late in the evening and we had to get back to Barcelona as we were leaving for home the next day, disappointing but we enjoyed the town. Also got to watch something being filmed, a movie or commercial. Got a picture of the hospital sign where I was born. I didn’t go there because the old hospital was no longer there, a new one was in it’s place. I do plan on going back soon.
So glad that you actually went to Figueres. I was wondering what happened, since you did say you were planning to take the trip in June.
I can only imagine what it was like to stroll around this colorful town for the first time. The Museum is a good reason to go back, right! 🙂 And I’m sure you will!
How about Barcelona? Did your sister have the same feeling towards the city as you did regarding Figueres? 🙂
My sister isn’t as sentimental about things as I am. We went to London first, then Paris, Rome, Barcelona, Figueres and back home. We had an adventure for sure. Our first night in London there was a terrorist attack then our first night in Paris another attack. We said they might want to wrap the Pope in bubble wrap before we get to Rome…lol but there were no other attacks while we were there. We had no idea about the attacks until our phones started going off, we were in bed asleep. We weren’t going to let the attacks spoil our trip. My favorite was Spain and hers was Rome. Our dad was also stationed in Barcelona and he and mom had pictures from there. One was of the Magic Fountain. It was within walking distance of our hotel. we walked there one evening to watch the fountain show. Standing in the same areas as our parents was very emotional for me, I had to fight back tears. The fountain show was a sight to behold, it was beautiful. We also walked by the old bullfighting ring that was turned into a shopping area. Took the cable car to Montjuic Castle. The views from the cable car and castle are awesome. I could go on and on about Spain….Loved it!!
Oh my, that really was an adventure! :O
You know what, I was wondering while reading these lines of yours, would you be willing to write a guest post on the whole story – how you came to Spain for the first time to visit the place of your birth, what happened along the way and about your impressions on Figueres and Barcelona? 🙂
I would like to post it here on my blog. I really enjoy your story and I’m sure people who read the blog would as well.
If you’re up for it, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll talk it over.
Looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks! 🙂
Figures looks like a very typical spanish city with the design of the buildings. I only learned a little bit about Dali while in college. I didn’t realize he had produced that much. It would be very interesting to see his museum.
Oh yes, this is a great homage to Dali’s work! Don’t miss it, if you go to Barcelona, it’s not far and it’s well worth it. Thanks!
Salvador Dali is one of my favorite painters, I remember Barcelona to be amazing 🙂 Thank you for sharing!
The same here, had great time there. 🙂 Thanks!
His work is sheer story telling! So impressive. Never been to Barcelona, but the art and history buff in me now is tempted to go! 🙂
Hope you do, it’s well worth it! 🙂