Egg-headed sculptures, optical illusions, a caged cricket, classic Greek statues with baguettes on their heads, an upside-down boat; all these and many more eccentricities you will find while travelling the Dalí Triangle.
The Dalí Triangle is a circuit of three towns in Catalonia, visiting three houses of the surreal artist Salvador Dalí (1904-1989).
The unconventional personality of Dalí is reflected in these houses, located in Figueres, Port Lligat and Púbol, now made into museums. All three are worth visiting not only for their locations but because they inspire creativity.
“Before I came here I didn’t even like Dalí’s art, but now I have to admit that being here has changed my mind. He was absolutely crazy,” said a tourist outside the Museum-Theatre Dalí in Figueres.
The Museum-Theatre Dalí located in the small town Figueres is the most known and visited museum of Dalí, probably because it is the closest one to Barcelona. Many people outside the museum were not aware of the existence of the other two museums in Port Lligat and Púbol.
This museum in Figueres was built under Dali’s instructions and his remains are buried here. There is always a big queue outside the museum, but there are plenty of things to see from the outside that will keep you busy while queuing.
This museum features most of the paintings of the artist, plus an impressive section displaying Dalí-designed jewellery.
Located on a small peninsula, Cadaqués is a paradise where many artists —not just Dalí; also Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró— have lived or visited for extended periods of time.
The house-museum is in Port Lligat, a 15 minute walk from Cadaqués. The path goes past fields full of olive trees and the Mediterranean Sea appears in view from time to time.
There are many cats all over the place and mysterious tuna served for them by the roadside. This made me wonder who owned and fed the cats. The mystery was solved when I saw a man in the act. He explained: “I love cats, they are the cats of Cadaqués and I always feed them. Many other locals do it as well.” The man was also on his way to the Dalí museum as he worked there.
The House-Museum is the house where Dalí used to live with his wife and muse Gala until 1982[i] when she died. That same year Dalí left the house and never came back.
The house is small, compared to the other two museums, but its size gives it a special intimacy. You get to see the couple’s bedroom, their big cage for birds and the small one for a cricket (they liked the sound of crickets so much that they had one in their bedroom).
To visit this museum you must book in advance as they only let 10 people in every 30 minutes.
Outside this museum I met Arturo Caminada, who owns a boat that, he says, belonged to Gala and Dalí, who then gave it to him as a gift. Arturo explained that he worked for Gala and Dalí for 40 years and now his daughter works in the museum and his son takes tourists to the Natural Park Cap de Creus in the boat. Meanwhile Arturo likes to sit back and talk to the museum visitors.
The last visit in this triangle is the House-Museum Gala Dalí Castle. This museum is a XI century castle in medieval style, located in the town of Púbol. This museum displays furniture designed by Dalí. The house was a gift from Dalí to his wife Gala, to fulfil his promise of making her queen of a castle.
There is a distance of 40 kilometres from one museum to the next, so two days are necessary to visit all of them. Although you will find Cadaqués so beautiful that you may want to stay there longer, as I did.
[i] Gala Dalí. La Vida Secreta: Diario Inedito. Editorial Galaxia Gutenberg.