Another beautiful morning in Barcelona. It was late November but still sunny (around 17 degrees Celsius), just perfect for going inside Dali Museum Figueres. And what a lovely day trip that was going to be!
Places to Visit Outside Barcelona
When I was thinking about traveling to Barcelona, I always reminded myself that I would have to take an extra day to escape the city and go inside Dali Museum Figueres. And now I was there. So, I asked around. It was possible to go by train and would take a couple of hours. I got up early determined to dedicate the whole day to browsing around Dali Museum. And so, I took off to – Figueres, Spain.
Why Figueres? Because the only theatre museum I know of is located there, and whose legacy it is? Salvador Dali’s, of course! Who else would have such an insane but brilliant idea to turn the walls of once burnt Municipal Theater into his museum?
And he has created a masterpiece!
Dali was born in Figueres and died here. He wanted to rebuild 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 also the ones that hosted his first exhibition.
So, it’s like every brick and stone here just screams “Dali”. He was asked a couple of times to donate one of his pieces to his hometown, but he always replied that he would do more than that. He left all of his work inside Dali Museum Figueres.
Things to see in Figueres
And so, I took a train, feeling so excited, glanced outside the window and then back to pages of my book about Dali. I rushed out at the station and found this small town charming. Here are things to see in Figueres.
There was a street sculpture at the small square reminding visitors that they had come to Dali’s town. I walked up the street, passing by colorful small buildings, and took a couple of photos. After all, I have enough time, I will be spending the whole day here.
I walked by a few cafes. It was a quiet little town with not that many people on the streets, besides the tourists. Curious wanderers with books about Salvador Dali looking around, trying to locate the famous museum was not an unusual thing to see here. A couple of locals just smiled, pointing up. They knew.
Museum in Figueres
One more corner and there was the courtyard. It says Dali Theatre Museum above the entrance, with strange sculptures with their arms lifted.
The Torre Galatea was built next to it, with huge sculptures of eggs displayed among thin statues. In the center is 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 – from the outdoor terraces to the last step!
There is a central courtyard, a garden in the open dominated by the vertical installation with the imposing Cadillac, the sculpture of Queen Esther, 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 a window looking at the previous courtyard on one side, while the other side’s wall is covered in an enormous piece, Michelangelo’s Head, the backdrop Dali has designed for a ballet in New York in 1941.
Inside Dali Museum Figueres
So many details! From this space, you can go to other rooms, all specially designed, full of symbolism and various artwork. Among them, there was a Mae West Room and the Palace of the Wind. Salvador Dali’s paintings can be admired here such as Galarina, Portrait of Pablo Picasso, Soft Self Portrait With Grilled Bacon, Poetry of America, and Galatea of The Spheres.
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One of the most popular areas inside Dali Museum Figueres is the 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 a typical Dali scenery that cannot be described and just has to be seen in person – from the top of the stairway and through a reducing lens. It sounds silly even if trying to describe the experience.
According to the guidebook I bought at the museum, Dali said that he wanted to make this space “like a single block, a labyrinth, a great surrealist object“.
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“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 awe of Salvador Dali’s artwork and the surroundings, but at the same time – you feel lost, without being able to reason with anything around you. Which was the point, right?
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