Some of the very first places I’ve visited while I was living in France were Cadaqués and Figueres (Catalan word for “fig trees”). These places piqued my interest because of my fascination with Salvador Dali.
In the beautiful Spanish region of Catalonia sits Salvador Dali’s home province of Girona where you will find these towns that have kept treasured memorabilia and masterpieces of the artist. Luckily, it was only three hours’ drive from Toulouse.
Crossing the Pyrenées on the way to Girona, Spain from Toulouse, France
Our first stop was Cadaqués. On the way there, we had to go around this hilly area covered with endless rows of olive tree plantations with the backdrop of the gorgeous Mediterranean sea. It was so beautiful! I had never seen anything quite like it. I have so much respect for olive trees, being difficult to cultivate and how they can withstand the test of time. It’s one of the many things in the Mediterannean countries that I love so much.
Along the stretch of Cadaques‘ coast, you will find Salvador Dali‘s house at Portlligat, which has actually been turned into a museum. It looked very bright and beautiful from the outside. But we’ve read some information that it is not really very interesting on the inside. We thought we’d just save our money for the Figueres Museum so we just walked around the area instead of going in.
Salvador Dali’s house in Portlligat, Cadaqués, Spain
The grounds of Salvador Dali’s house, facing the sea
Ancient wall clock
One of the beautiful stone houses in the area
Before heading straight to the Dali Theater and Museum (Teatre-Museu Dali) in Figueres, we first stopped by a beach area lined with seafood restaurants. The houses facing the beach give a bright and summery feel despite the cloudy autumn weather. We had a good seafood lunch in one of the restaurants and then wandered a bit into the beach where we found a statue of Salvador Dali himself.
Salvador Dali’s statue
Beautiful house amid the restaurants
From the outside, the Teatre-Museu Dali looks very imposing. The museum was once a theater where Dali’s first art works were exhibited. It was burned during the Spanish Civil War and was later on rebuilt as the Dali Museum that it is now.
They were offering discounted entrance fees to students at the time. Luckily, I was a student at Alliance Française de Toulouse at the time. I showed them my student ID and it worked!
The steps leading to the main entrance of The Dali Museum… this statue called “Homage to Newton” is the same one that is displayed at UOB Plaza in Singapore, minus the pendulum.
An air well inside the museum, his remains are buried beneath the grounds here… if I remember correctly
One of the huge surrealist art works inside the museum… I was actually very much feeling this painting during my visit because I was pregnant at the time.
I love the bricked walls, the high ceileing and of course the weird art works… especially the ones dedicated to his wife, Gala
Children on a field trip
You can view the kids from this mirror, and they look like they are part of the art installation
Now this is what I call a “shitty opening”… literally!
Entrance to the Jewelry Museum
My favorite piece inside the Jewelry Museum — a golden heart with a crown and a beating heart in the middle
The Teatre-Museu Dali from the outside with the funny-looking gigantic eggs
The museum does not only house Dali’s quirky art works, it also serves as his final resting place. There is also a small Jewelry Museum containing jewelry art pieces from the artist himself. There was this unforgettable heart sculpture covered with gold. On top of it sits a crown and on in the inside is a small bejewelled beating heart.
We could’ve continued to the Púbol Castle, Dali’s famous gift to his wife Gala, which has also been turned into a museum, but we only had one day and we had to drive back to Toulouse.
Thanks for revisting Dali’s home town with me. Have a good weekend! 🙂