Following in Dalí Footsteps
Travelling to Spain doesn't mean visiting just Barcelona, there are a lot of places worth to be seen.
For this reason if it is not your first time in Barcelona and you want to enjoy a different and peculiar experience, or if you just want to live something unscheduled, maybe following in the footsteps of a world-known artist, you should totally follow the itinerary I am going to suggest to you : Púbol and Figueras, two characteristic villages. Tourists haven't discovered these places yet, so they are still almost quiet and uncontaminated. They deserve a visit not just because of their beauty, but first of all because they are important for the role they had in Salvador Dalí's artistic career, and above all for being the places in which he met his muse Gala.
She was the actual source of his creativity, for this reason every work of Dalí's has the signature "Gala-Salvador Dalí". He always used to say that without Gala the artist Salvador Dalí, as we know him, would have never existed.
Talking about Púbol, it is the site of the "Gala-Dalí castle". It is situated on the highest and most populated- 200 inhabitants!- side of the village. It is an ancient building dating back to XV century and in 1970 Dalí bought, refurbished and gave it to Gala converting it into her private shelter, so personal that he had to be invited to get there. Dalí loved this routine because he thought a little distance would have intensified their passionate love.
The external architectural structure is a Medieval building, Dalí decided to keep it as it was, an isolated and austere place which style is modelled on Gala's tastes.
A peculiarity of this building is the garret, a permanent collection of Gala's high-class dresses, some of them have been painted in Dalí's works. Furthermore there are drawnings and written works from "Rosalynde" or "As you like it" from Sakespeare that has been shown on stage at the Eliseo Theatre of Rome in 1948.
The most touching moment of your visit will be Gala's grave, an intimate and simple place where four sculptures pay attention to both tombs, one of which keep actually Gala's body. The other one should have hosted Dalí's body butaccording to a legend, after Gala died, thinking that the other grave was waiting for him, he decided to change his mind.
The second stop of your journey should be Figueras, or Figueres in Catalan dialect. The Dalí Museum and Theatre is situated right where there was the city theatre, the place where Dalí had one of his first exhibitions. The old theatre was bombed during the Spanish civil war and it reamined abandoned until Dalí and the major of Figueras decided to rebuild and dedicate it to the most important inhabitant of the city : Salvador Dalí himself.
His aim was to provoke and break the bonds with reality and rationality, he wanted to rouse people and bring them into another dimension, the surreal one. In the first room of the museum you can find Dalí's tomb, a very simple one with the inscription "Marquis of Púbol". The courtyard is the one of the most known and emblematic places of the Museum. In correspondence with the windows of the building looking out onto the garden, you can find some golden statues, like the Oscar ones, welcoming the visitors. Beyond lots of paintings you will appreciate for sure, like "Violetas Imperiales", "Self-portrait" and "The swallow's tale" (his last work) there is something that will grasp your attention for sure : "Face of Mae West which may be Used as an Apartment", that is to say a room in which the furniture are organized so that you can see the face of the actress just from a single position.
"I want my museum to be a single block, a labyrinth, a great surrealist object. It will be [a] totally theatrical museum. The people who come to see it will leave with the sensation of having had a theatrical dream"
Dalí lived in this House-Museum until Gala died. After this sad event he decided to take shelter in another place.
From that moment he didn't go there anymore and he quit his work forever.