This typical Spanish town with a touch of the surreal is an ideal day-trip from Barcelona.
At first Figueres might not seem especially different from other run-of-the-mill towns in the province of Girona. Except that this town happens to be home to something rather unique, something rather extraordinary. There is one reason that crowds make the pilgrimage to Figueres – it is the birthplace and burial ground of the world-famous Surrealist artist Salvador Dali.
Figueres the capital of the Alt Empordà region, and only around an hour and a half north of Barcelona. It’s commonly referred to as the ‘Capital of Surrealism’, a title that makes complete sense when you finally gaze upon the star attraction – the whimsical architectural masterpiece called the Dali Theatre Musuem.
The quirky and innovative museum was designed by Dali himself. It was opened in 1974 and was one of his last great creative endeavours. Dali transformed an old theatre that was damaged during the Civil War into a piece of surrealist art in it’s own right.
Being a fan of Salvidor Dali, I have regularly sought out his art on my travels. I’ve visited galleries entirely dedicated to his work in both Paris and Berlin, and I’ve marvelled at his genius from eminent paintings in New York’s MOMA to obscure sculptures in a private collection in Portugal – but nothing was to prepare me for this almost hallucinatory experience.
The Dali Theatre Museum immerses you in the eccentric world of Dali’s imagination; showcasing many pieces from his prolific career and the museum contains some of his most outstanding work.
Whilst you’re here do not miss the Dali Jewels permanent exhibition, which boasts a dazzling display of finery. Some magnificent pieces are even mechanical and move in an abstract, spellbinding way. Entry to this section of museum comes at an additional cost but absolutely worth it to see some of the most breathtaking pieces of jewellery you’ll ever lay eyes upon.
It’s a mere 1 ½ hour journey by car or train from Barcelona. If you’re planning a mini-break in Girona or the Costa Brava it’s easy to add Figueres to your itinerary. If you were pushed for time, I’d recommend a quick visit to Girona and Figueres organised by a day-trip bus tour from Barcelona.