Cadaques: Dali’s secret town in the Costa Brava


Cadaques: Dali’s secret town in the Costa Brava

Have you ever heard of Cadaqués? It is the secret city located 135 km from Barcelona, where Salvador Dali located his laboratory and where he lived with his beloved Gala.

Salvador Dali was one of the most beloved painters of the 20th century. Even today he embodies the figure of the eccentric and successful artist able to transform into art everything he touched, including his daily life.

It is not possible to limit Dali’s artistic activity to the world of painting. Because it would mean ignoring his works in the fields of architecture, design, sculpture and photography. Although less known, make the idea of the greatness of the Catalan artist.

Salvador Dali was born in Figueres in 1904 and remained here until his death in 1989. In Figueres Dali wanted to create his own house-museum where he was later buried.


What’s so special about Cadaqués for Dali?

However, if Figueres was the cradle and tomb of the great artist, the favourite place of the surrealist genius is the fishing village of Portlligat, Cadaqués. It is located 35 km from Figueres in the easternmost point of the Iberian Peninsula where Dali has located his laboratory. Moreover, his house, in his image and likeness, is one of the most popular destinations for cultural tourism on the Costa Brava. Where visitors can enjoy the atmosphere that Dali loved surrounding himself with stuffed animals, books, velvet and material that recalls the pop culture of advertising of the twentieth century.


Description of Dali’s house in Cadaqués

Starting from 1930, the artist created this house. By transforming some fishermen’s huts into a structure formed by various irregular rooms placed on different levels. Walking inside you have the impression of being in a kind of maze that hides unique surprises around every corner.
The house already amazes from the entrance. To welcome the visitor nothing less than a polar bear decorated with necklaces and medals. Originally used as a stick holder and umbrella stand.
To follow other rooms, full of objects and unique details. Huge stuffed swans, skulls, sea urchins and junk of all kinds, not always easily identifiable.
For about 50 years Dalí spent much of his time there, modelling the spaces in his image and likeness. The artist lived here together with Gala, his companion and muse, until 1982, the year in which the woman died. This magical place overlooking the bay of Portlligat was his refuge, his atelier, his love nest.
It is really difficult to determine what is the most striking element of the house of Cadaqués. The mirror placed on the side of the bedroom window is a small masterpiece. It allowed Dali to boast of being the first to see the sunrise all over Spain.



Love in the life of Dali

Actually Cadaqués for Dali is a fundamental city that has inspired him both from a working and sentimental point of view. Dalí’s father, who was a notary, had a holiday home in Cadaqués. There Dalí met Gala, an 11-year-old Russian expatriate who was already married to the surrealist poet Paul Éluard (from whom he divorced).

The two fell in love, married (twice) and never broke up again. Although they both had parallel relationships with other people. Gala was the love of his life and his muse. The house of Port Lligat – initially composed of two rooms and then gradually enlarged – became their refuge. In a corner of a wild and isolated world, opposed to an existence made of travels around the world. In close contact with artists and exponents of the international jet set.


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