On the Footsteps of Salvador Dali: The House-Museum in Port Lligat

On the Footsteps of Salvador Dali: The House-Museum in Port Lligat

Eccentric, highly imaginative, ironic, egomaniac, excessive, provocative, so many adjectives have been applied to Salvador Dali’s multi-faceted personality of and none can properly define him because Dali is all of them altogether and much more.

Dali-House-Interior

Dali House, Interior

There’s no better way to understand Dalì’s long and prolific artistic career than a journey to Costa Brava, the land where he was born and where he mostly lived, the land that is so often represented in his paintings.

There is only one difference between a madman and me. I am not mad. – Salvador Dali

The journey on the footsteps of Salvador Dali starts in Port Lligat, the charming fishing village where the artist alternatively lived from 1930 to 1984, attracted by the landscape, the light, and the isolation.

Built little by little in a period of 40 years, the house – now converted into a Museum – is a labyrinth leading visitors through a discovery of Surrealism and of one of its leading figures.

Dali-House-Bear-Hall

Dali House, The Bear Hall

Irregular rooms, narrow corridors and everywhere the objects collected by Dali displayed among his works of art and the furniture designed by the artist. The Casa Museo Dali is no doubt eccentric, sometimes utterly kitsch but very intriguing. Most importantly, since there was a complete identification between Dali and his home, getting through it is like having a journey into the artist creative process and the wide array of his intellectual interests.

Salvador Dali is closely related to my youth when I was a student at high-school. At that time, I was strongly attracted by Surrealism, how the movement broke with the past and developed around Sigmund Freud psychoanalytic theories and therapy.

I spent the years as a University student traveling throughout Europe and visiting museums, mostly to see the works by the main Surrealist painters. When I first traveled to Costa Brava in the late 1980s the Salvador Dali Museum House didn’t exist (it opened in 1997), thus I was curious and excited.

Dali-House-Garden

Dali House, The Garden

The Museum has become so popular (and the spaces inside the house are so tiny) that visits can enter only by small groups, at regular intervals of 15 minutes, meaning that it’s, unfortunately, impossible to linger when there are so many details to look at.

Dali-Collage

Dali House, News Collage

Still, the eccentric and eclectic nature of Dali and his wife Gala is palpable at a glance, starting from the ‘Bear Hall’, where a huge stuffed bear welcomes the visitors and reminds them of how jealous the artist and his wife were of their privacy.

Every room has a unique decor and tells something about Dalì’s life, intellectual interests, superstitions, and oddity. Whether you like him or not, the Museum is fascinating.

And then, there is the scenery. Despite the spread of tourism, Port Lligat still holds its charm. I look around and understand why Dali was mesmerized by the little bay, the rocks sculpted by the wind and the surrounding melancholy appearing so often as a background in his most famous paintings.

Useful Information:

House Museum Dalì, Port Lligat

Visits only by to small groups (up to 8 people) at intervals of  10-15 minutes. Advance booking must be done either online, by phone +34 972 25 10 15 or via e-mail to [email protected]

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Note: Warm thanks to the Costa Brava Pirineu de Girona Tourism Board for inviting me to discover this beautiful area of Spain. While I enjoyed the wonderful hospitality, the opinions expressed are exclusively mine.

 

More reading on Costa Brava: A Photo Tour of the Spectacular Temps de Flors in Girona

 

12 Comments
  • Natasha
    Posted at 10:18h, 06 November Reply

    The image of the Polar Bear is very haunting! I’m a big Dali fan, would definitely love to visit the House Museum and Costa Brava.

    • Simon
      Posted at 10:38h, 06 November Reply

      I you’re a fan of Dalì, the house-museum is definitely a must-see. In there, there’s the essence of Dali’s art and personality.

  • Tiny Girl with Big Bag
    Posted at 15:21h, 29 October Reply

    I have been to Figueras, did not know that Dalí had another house.. it is definitely a great experience, which one does not forget 🙂

  • Travelwriticus
    Posted at 08:51h, 12 July Reply

    I am very impressed by the first photo. You caught the Surrealism well.

  • Laura @Travelocafe
    Posted at 14:53h, 15 June Reply

    I remember fondly our trip to Figueres. Our time was limited and the only thing that we got to visit there was the Dali’s museum. We need to organize a trip to Port Lligat.

  • Angela
    Posted at 21:56h, 07 June Reply

    Such a strange artist Dali, very fascinating.

  • Will Peach
    Posted at 23:13h, 06 June Reply

    Dali didn’t have shit on me. If he was travel blogging today it would definitely be a PR0 with next to no traffic. You have to be bland as hell to get noticed in this game.

    Cool photos by the by. Dig the site too!

  • Leah Travels
    Posted at 22:58h, 05 June Reply

    This looks so eclectic. This might need to be on my itinerary for my November trip to Spain. Thanks for sharing.

    • Simon
      Posted at 23:02h, 05 June Reply

      Oh, it’s really worth a visit, Leah. As is the Museum in Figueres. Plus, there are many other awesome places in Costa Brava. I’ll write more about the region soon!

  • Lauren
    Posted at 21:41h, 05 June Reply

    I could look at Dali’s work for hours. It’s so unique and interesting that once I start exploring his pieces I find it hard to pull myself away. I’ll definitely have to visit Costa Brava. That museum looks especially intriguing. Thanks for sharing!

    • Simon
      Posted at 23:01h, 05 June Reply

      Costa Brava is beautiful, and you’ll love it. Lots of picturesque villages, great food and… Dalì!

  • Jennifer
    Posted at 21:40h, 05 June Reply

    This is my first time to hear these House Museum in Post Lligat and I found it interesting. I think I am going to visit the place together with my family. Thanks for sharing.

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