Monday, March 6, 2017

A day in Dalí-wood: Figueres, Spain

Teatre Museu Dalí in Figueres, Spain

Our month-long road trip to Spain starts in the Empordá region in the northeast corner of the country just below the French border. This area of Spain is part of Catalonia — thus my Spanish/English dictionary is virtually useless here. We're staying in a tiny village called Cabanes. Our five days here will include several "field trips," and first up is Figueres.
Saint-George and the Dragon sculpture in Plaza Catalunya in Figueres
A reverse image of Dalí painted on a Figueres
sidewalk is reflected in a metal pole.

There is just one name to remember here: This is the birthplace (and final resting place) of Salvador Dalí. At the end of the Spanish Civil War, the city's Municipal Theatre was destroyed, and the artist decided to build his museum on its ruins. The artist is said to have said, "Where, if not were in my own city, should the most extravagant and solid examples of my art remain, where else?"

Detail of egg-sterior of Teatre Museu Dalí in Figueres

A Cadillac and golden mannequins in the courtyard
at the Teatre Museu Dalí in Figueres

A group of schoolchildren hear about Dalí's many mustaches
at the Teatre Museu Dalí in Figueres.

Today, the Teatre Museu Dalí is the largest surrealist object in the world and Spain's third-most visited museum (after the Prado in Madrid and the Guggenheim in Bilbao). Our visit here is exhausting, and, I'm compelled to say ... surreal.

Painting on the ceiling at Teatre Museu Dalí in Figueres

The Persistence of Memory (1931) by Salvador Dalí
at the Teatre Museu Dalí in Figueres

View from behind a golden mannequin at
Teatre Museu Dalí in Figueres

An exhibit dedicated to the artist's mustaches
at Teatre Museu Dalí in Figueres

Our ticket to the Dalí museum gets us in to another small museum down the street, Museu de l'Emorrda, and we spend a bit of time here before our walk up to the Castell de Ferran, an 18th-century fortress and the largest castle in Europe. It's closed at the time of our visit but the walk helps to clear our heads (still on Dalí-overload) and the views are not too shabby.

El pensador (1962) by Artur Novoa Cabra
at the Museu de l'Emorrda in Figueres

Whimsical windows in Figueres

Castell de Ferran in Figueres

View from Castell de Ferran in Figueres

As we walk, we plan out what we'll do tomorrow and decide to head to volcano country. More about that in my next post, but first some miscellaneous photos of our first days in Spain.

The market in Figueres offers a variety of bacallà (salted cod).

Central square in Cabanes, Spain.

Murals in Cabanes

Fountain in Cabanes

Estelades flag of Catalonia hangs in Peralada, Spain.

Claustre Románic de Sant Domènec in Peralada

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