Facing the pretty little bay of Portlligat on the outskirts of the Mediterranean town of Cadaqués, the Casa Museu Salvador Dalí is a spot that shouldn’t be missed by any admirer of the surrealist artist travelling in Costa Brava. The museum is housed in what used to be Dalí’s only fixed address from 1930 to 1982, the year when his beloved wife Gala died.
As a kid, Dalí visited Cadaqués a few times during holidays. In 1930, he settled with Gala in a small fisherman’s cabin in the nearby bay of Portlligat. He eventually bought the hut and some other neighbouring cabins and transformed them into the lovely villa that stands today in front of the bay. Today, the Portlligat House Museum gives visitors an intimate view into the master of surrealism personal sphere.
When entering the house, visitors are greeted by a stuffed polar bear wearing several necklaces and sporting a lamp, one of the many surreal pieces inside Dali’s private hideout. From there, there’s a series of rooms in different levels connected by narrow passageways. The windows in the rooms have all different shapes and proportions that act like frames to the beautiful views of the Portlligat bay.
All around the house, there are signs about Dalí’s admiration for his muse, Gala. She was 10 years older than him and was also his business manager. They started living together shortly after the met and stayed together until her death in 1982. After she died, he left the house in Portlligat and lost most of his will to live.
During his lifetime, Dalí put a lot of energy in building this house. Some of the spaces in the house have a very womb-like feeling, such as the Oval Room. This spherical room with its peculiar acoustics and oriental style decoration was built for Gala’s exclusive use.
On the outside, the house is equally surreal and extravagant. There are some bizarre sculptures, a phallic-shaped swimming pool and some iconic Dalíesque egg figures. Back in the day, this patio was the stage of some pretty excentric and decadent parties.
It took decades for Dalí and Gala to finish this project, together they planned every detail of the house. It is not surprising then, that when she died in 1982 Dalí decided to move away and never returned to their house in Portlligat.
Are you a fan of Salvador Dalí’s work? Have you visited any of the museums or exhibitions where his works are displayed? How did you liked it? Leave me a comment, I’d love to know!