Dali in Figueras!

And darn it here is another escape of mine. So much in my beloved Spain, that sometimes I do mentioned briefly many places and go on. Later, I come back and really need to give more credit in my blog and Figueras or Figueres is one of them. After all, this is the home and repository of the great Salvador Dali! Even if he is more famous in Barcelona..he is from Figueres! And of course as this was way back around 2008 can’t find photos lol! sorry just for the memories. I did!! found a couple photos here they are!!!

I like to tell you a bit about the town of Figueres and then then Dali ok, hope you enjoy the tour as we did.

Figueras (Sp) or Figueres (cat) is a town in the north of Catalonia. It is the capital of the metro area of Alt Empordà in the province of Girona, kingdom of Spain. It is best known for housing the Salvador Dalí Theater-Museum; its worth the trip and we came by car from Barcelona . Figueras is located 24 km south of the Perthus pass, on the rail and road axis that links Barcelona to France.

figueras

Figueres is a key point on the highway AP7 (toll) and formerly the national road N2, The city is also served by TGV from France and by Renfe for connections to Spain by Iberian gauge tracks. The presence of the international Barcelona-Girona-Portbou-Cerbère-Perpignan line, saturated with both goods and passengers, is handicapped by a different gauge of tracks from other European countries (1,668 mm for the Iberian wide track instead of 1,435 mm for the UIC standard track used in almost all continental countries). Until today, this railway hodgepodge made the city of Portbou, managed by Renfe, the capital of rail, with Cerbère, its cross-border neighbor managed by the SNCF France. This has now change since 2013 with the high speed line Perpignan–Barcelona an international high-speed rail line between France and Spain. The line consists of a 175.5-km (109.1 mi) railway, of which 24.6 km are in France and 150.8 km are in Spain. It crosses the French–Spanish border via the 8.3-km (5.2 mi) Perthus Tunnel bored under the Perthus Pass, connecting two small cities on opposite sides of the border, Perpignan in Roussillon, France, and Figueres in Catalonia, Spain. Renfe (Spain) and SNCF (France) in cooperation take you to 15 French cities. Discover by AVE (alta velocidad express trains) of Carcassonne, Lyon, Marseille, Nîmes, Paris, Toulouse, Perpignan, Narbonne, Béziers, Agde, Sète, Montpellier, Avignon, Aix-en-Provence,  and Valence.

In French, the term Figuières, was in use from the 17C. In 1696, Bussy-Rabutin wrote in his memoirs the prince took his quarter in Figuieres. In 1812, following the annexation of Catalonia to France by Napoleon I, Figuières officially became the name of one of the sub-prefectures of the Ter department (former French dept). In its official communications, the French government also uses Figueras.

A bit of history I like

In 1267, King James I of Aragon, known as “the Conqueror” conceded a charter to the city. On November 27, 1794, Figueras was taken by French troops from Pérignon after the battle of the Sierra Negra. During the Spanish War of Independence (from Napoleon’s France), the city was besieged by French troops. It briefly became chief town of the Ter department from January 26, 1812 to 1814.  On October 12, 1936 arrived in Figueres the first group of volunteers from the International Brigades who came to fight for the defense of the Spanish Republic. On January 20, 1938 the first bombing of Figueres took place with airplanes from Nazi Germany dropped some 30 bombs over the city, luckily without causing any casualties. On the third air attack, which occurred in the afternoon, was carried out by the Italian fascist air force. On November 11, 1938, farewells to volunteers from the International Brigades took place in the city before they left for abroad, after their campaign had failed. The night of February 1, 1939, the city became the seat of the Republican Corts and the capital of the Republic. The session of the Parliament, which was nocturnal, took place at the castle of Sant Ferran. On February 5, 1939, in Figueres took off the departure for France of the President of the Spanish Republic Manuel Azaña Díaz, of the President of the Generalitat of Catalonia Lluís Companys i Jover, the president of the Basque government José Antonio Aguirre i Lecube and other members of the Spanish Republic central government and autonomies. On the night of February 8, 1939, Nationalist (gen Franco) troops entered the city, and the war was over for the Figueres.

Other things to see here are a taste on the cradle of the modern Sardana dance and the seat of the Chamber Orchestra of the Empordà. As well as the largest fortress in Europe, the castle of Sant Ferran, the fortified Church of Vilatenim. The Empordà Museum presents the heritage of the Empordà. And the Toy Museum of Catalonia, which has the status of a national museum.

However, what we came to see here and its a must was the Theater-Museum Dali.   Inaugurated in 1974, it is built on the remains of the old municipal theater of Figueres, destroyed at the end of the Spanish Civil War. It offers a wide range of works that describe the artistic trajectory of Salvador Dalí i Domènech (1904-1989), from his first artistic experiences and his creations in surrealism, to works in the last years of his life. From the opening, the Theater-Museum Dali was very popular with the public : Dalí chose this theater for three reasons: the first, because he is an eminently theatrical painter; the second, because this theater is located just in front of the church where he was baptized; and the third, because it is in the hall of the theater hall that his first painting exhibition was held.

Some of the most remarkable works exhibited at the museum are: Port Alguer (1924), The Specter of sex appeal (1932), Soft self-portrait with grilled bacon (1941), Poetry of America-Cosmic athletes (1943) , Galarina (1944-1945),the Bread Basket (1945), Leda atomica (1949) and Galatea with the spheres (1952). Some of the works were specially produced by the artist for the theater-museum, such as the Mae West room, the Palais du Vent room, the monument to Francesc Pujols and the rainy Cadillac. In addition, are exhibited works by other artists that Dalí wanted to include in the museum such as El Greco, Marià Fortuny, Modest Urgell, Ernest Meissonier, Marcel Duchamp, Wolf Vostell, Antoni Pitxot and Evarist Vallès i Rovira , amongst others.

The Theater-Museum Dali was designed by Salvador Dalí as a work of art in its own right. Everything was done and designed by the artist in order to offer the visitor a real experience where he enters a captivating and unique world. The combination of images, sculptures, furniture, decorations and all kinds of curiosities means that in many rooms the walls and ceilings are completely covered with huge murals: some are original compositions while others are enlargements of famous paintings.   Dali’s jewelry collection presented at the museum is the result of his ambition and his eccentricity, an incredible surrealism. You could say that he is a maestro or a goldsmith engineer. It uses platinum, diamonds, rubies, sapphires, topaz, quartz, emerald and other precious stones, pearl, coral and noble metal.

Against his will (he wanted to be buried in the castle of Pubol), Dali was buried in the Theatre-Museum Dali on January 25, 1989, two days after his death. His embalmed body rests under the dome, in the middle of the museum. In the Dalinian Sistine Chapel, you will notice the visual effect of the portrait of Lincoln, the painting of Gala Dali (his wife)   looking at the sea and the portrait of Beethoven made in octopus ink, in the old theater floor is the rainy Cadillac. The museum recently integrated the Torre Galatea, the painter’s former home.

figueras

In 2013, the museum ranked 40th among the most visited museums in the world and 3rd among the most visited in Spain. The museum is managed by the Fundacion Gala-Salvador Dali.

Foundation Dali and the museum in English: Official fundacion Dali on the theater museum

Tourist office of Figueres and the Theater Museum Dali in English: Tourits office of Figueres on the theater museum Dali

And now I feel better showing the wonderful story of Figueras or Figueres and the Theater Museum Dali, a must to see.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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3 Comments to “Dali in Figueras!”

  1. Thanks for reminding me about Figueres. I visited the town and the Dali museum in 2013.

    Like

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